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#Rescue - The Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter completed an early-morning medevac of a crewman from a Russian fishing vessel off the Mayo coast yesterday (Wednesday 8 March).

Owing to the distance involved in the rescue effort, communication support — known as ‘top cover’ — was provided for Rescue 118 by a second coastguard helicopter, the Dublin-based Rescue 116.

Both helicopters refuelled at Blacksod prior to transiting to the scene, some 180 miles north west of Erris Head.

The Russian crewman, who required urgent medical attention, was airlifted at 4.30am and transferred to Sligo University Hospital, where he was admitted shortly before 6am.

The operation was co-ordinated by the Marine Rescue Sub Centre in Malin Head.

Published in Rescue

#Coastguard - Irish Coast Guard helicopters were called on for two separate evacuations from fishing vessels yesterday morning (Monday 16 January).

In the first incident, Waterford-based Rescue 117 airlifted a fisherman who had suffered an injury on board his vessel to University Hospital Waterford.

On the same morning, Rescue 115 from Shannon was tasked to retrieve a casualty from a fishing vessel some 120 miles west of Kerry Head and transport him to University Hospital Limerick.

MEDICO Cork, based at Cork University Hospital’s A&E department, provided advice for both coastguard medevacs.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - Early this morning the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter completed the medical evacuation of an injured crewman from a large tanker some 350km off Eagle Island in Co Mayo.

The overnight operation was jointly co-ordinated with the UK Coastguard who had initially been alerted by the tanker, which is on a transatlantic voyage to the Orkney Islands.

Weather conditions on scene were described as reasonable with northwesterly winds of up to 40km per hour.

The injured crewman was airlifted by Rescue 118 shortly before 8am, and the helicopter was due back in Sligo before 10.30am for transfer of the casualty to Sligo University Hospital.

Published in Coastguard

#RNLI - An island medical evacuation was carried out yesterday (Monday 26 September) by the volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI on the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Fisherman's Friend.

In calm seagoing conditions, the lifeboat was launched at 1.15pm to attend to a man who had experienced a fall at the north end of Inishturk off the Mayo coast.

On arrival at the pier in Inishturk, the casualty was taken aboard the lifeboat and transferred to Cleggan pier, where he was moved to a waiting ambulance with the assistance of the Cleggan Coast Guard Unit.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI coxswain Alan Pryce said: “We were glad to be able to transfer this man safely to shore and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“The capability of the all-weather lifeboat in carrying out long-range shouts such as this one is reassuring, both for us as volunteers and all those who live on and visit our offshore islands.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Coastguard - Shannon's Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew to the rescue of a man who survived a 21-metre fall off a sea cliff in West Cork yesterday morning (Monday 7 March).

According to the Irish Examiner, Rescue 115 was tasked along with the Toe Head coastguard unit to attend to the man who was spotted at the base of the steep cliffs at Sandy Cove near Castletownshend.

Both were on scene within 20 minutes of the arrival of the ambulance service, who treated the casualty before he could be safely winched on board the helicopter for transport to Cork University Hospital, receiving further treatment for hypothermia.

It's thought that conditions on the popular cliff path above were rendered unstable after recent heavy rains.

In other coastguard rescue news, Sligo's Rescue 118 was involved in the medevac of an ill crewman from a fishing boat west of Hags Head in Co Clare.

The foreign national, aged 30, complained of abdominal pains before he was flown from the trawler Arkh Angel to University Hospital Galway for treatment, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - Dublin's Irish Coast Guard helicopter was involved in a rescue off the north-east of Ireland early this morning (Tuesday 16 February), as Independent.ie reports.

Rescue 116 assisted Belfast Coastguard in the medevac of a fisherman who suffered head injuries on a trawler 25 miles off Carlingford, Co Louth.

The man was airlifted to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry where his condition is not yet confirmed.

Published in Coastguard

Baltimore RNLI received an an alert from Valentia Coastguard at 09:29 this morning when a young boy in urgent need of medical attention required immediate evacuation from Cape Clear Island.

Coxswain Aidan Bushe along with 5 volunteer crewmen were launched within minutes of the alert. They proceeded in poor weather conditions to the North Harbour of Cape Clear Island against a swell of 3 metres and force 6-7 northwest winds.

When the lifeboat crew arrived at the pier the little boy was unresponsive. He was immediately stretchered aboard the the lifeboat where he was constantly monitored on the journey back to Baltimore. The lifeboat arrived at Baltimore pier at 10:30, from where the boy was transferred to Skibbereen for medical attention.

The evacuation was successfully completed in one hour, a remarkable achievement given that current weather conditions have meant frequent cancellation of local ferries.

On board were ; Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, crew Sean McCarthy, Jerry Smith, Ronnie Carty and Don O'Donovan

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Derry–Londonderry–Doire is diverting to Hobart in Tasmania for a medevac of an injured crewman as a precautionary measure.

Skipper Daniel Smith contacted the Race Office at 1030 AEDT today (2330 UTC Tuesday 8 December) to report that round-the-world crew member Michael Gaskin, 54, from the West Midlands, UK, had sustained suspected broken ribs after he fell by the helming position when a wave broke over the back of the yacht in rough seas and 35 knots wind, approximately 130 nautical miles to the southwest of Tasmania.

Team Medics Ali Boeree and Jan Chatzis administered first aid while the Skipper contacted ClipperTelemed+, the Clipper Race remote telemedicine service. Doctors at the Praxes operations centre in Halifax, Canada, confirmed diagnosis and directed the provision of pain relief and anti-nausea medication.

Due to the proximity of Hobart and the rough conditions, the Skipper has decided to divert as a precaution so that Michael can be treated ashore. The team will continue the race to Sydney once Michael has been transferred to hospital.

“The Skipper reports that Mike is in a stable condition and is receiving pain relief,” explained Race Director Justin Taylor. “The conditions were quite challenging at the time. Mike was clipped on behind the high side helm. The low side helm took over to allow Mike to step in. A breaking wave broke over the side of cockpit and Mike says he hit the pushpit and heard his ribs crunch. He was then washed into the A frame and sustained a small cut to his head. He was stopped by his safety tether. This was the first breaking wave into the boat the team had experienced, although they had a lot of spray.”

Water breaking over the deck is very powerful. A cubic metre of water weighs a metric tonne.

This is the first medevac of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, the tenth edition of the biennial global series, the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles, taking 11 months to race between six continents. Only a handful of the 3300 amateur sailors who have participated over the last 19 years have had to be evacuated, the majority as a precaution following medical treatment aboard.

Michael’s next of kin has been informed. Everyone else aboard is safe and well.

Michael is an experienced yachtsman, holding a Day Skipper qualification and had previously sailed around Scotland, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.

The yacht is estimated to reach Hobart around 1000 AEDT tomorrow (Thursday) morning 10 December (2300 UTC 9 December).

Published in Clipper Race

#Rescue - Two Irish Coast Guard helicopters battled Storm Desmond to evacuate a crewman from a container ship off the southwest coast yesterday (Friday 4 December).

As UTV News reports, Rescue 117 from Waterford was joined by Rescue 115 from Shannon in the medevac some 160km west of Fastnet Rock at the Swedish-registered MV Atlantic Cartier, where the long-range-specialist Sikorsky S-92 helicopters faced strong gales and heavy seas.

According to TheJournal.ie, the ill crewman, who was reporting chest pains, was airlifted to Cork Airport where he was transferred to an ambulance.

It marks the latest rescue operation for the coastguard helicopter network in a busy 2015, which has seen a record year for Sligo's Rescue 118 in particular.

Published in Rescue

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Pride and Spirit was launched shortly after 4pm on Tuesday (24 November) to undertake an urgent medical evacuation from the island of Inishturk North.

This was the second such callout in a fortnight, after a medevac from Inishbofin on 15 November, with severe weather conditions once again facing the volunteer crew, who have had a busy year to date trialling the Mersey-class lifeboat.

With winds blowing north-west Force 7 to 8 and a swell warning issued by Met Éireann, a round trip of almost 50 nautical miles was required to bring the casualty to shore for urgent medical attention.

"The swell was over five metres at times and it took us around an hour and 45 minutes to reach the island," said Clifden RNLI coxswain John Mullen, "but thankfully the Pride and Spirit is well equipped for such conditions.

"We brought the casualty into Cleggan Harbour shortly after 7pm and would like to wish her a speedy recovery."

The volunteer lifeboat crew consisting of Owen Hayes (navigator), Robert King (mechanic), David O Reilly, Daniel Whelan and coxswain Mullen returned to Clifden Bay shortly before 9pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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