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Displaying items by tag: Owey Island

Arranmore RNLI in Co Donegal rescued a kayaker on rocks at Owey Island on Sunday afternoon (10 September).

The volunteer crew were asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 2.50pm to reports of a kayaker in difficulty on rocks at Owey Island, a five-minute journey from the RNLI station.

On arrival at the scene, the lifeboat was joined by the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat, the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 and local boats.

The lifeboat located the empty kayak and proceeded to search the area around Owey Island and the wider area for the missing kayaker but was unable to locate him.

Arranmore RNLI mechanic Philip McCauley suggested to Malin Head Coast Guard that the caves at Owey Island were a popular exploration spot for kayakers and canoes. They proceeded to search the area by the Bunbeg Coast Guard drone and the casualty was soon located.

It emerged that the kayaker was going to explore the cave when a large swell backed him into the opening, overturned his boat and tossed him onto the rocks. He had managed to alert the Coast Guard and clung onto the rocks until he was located by the lifeboat.

Sea conditions at the area made the rescue more difficult with a high ground swell and breaking surf.

As the tide turned and sea conditions improved, the lifeboat launched the Y boat — a small inflatable daughter boat capable of entering shallow water and small confined areas, launched from the stern of the lifeboat — with volunteer crew members Evan O’Donnell and JJ O’Donnell onboard and they proceeded into the cave where they brought the casualty onboard and transferred him to the lifeboat for assessment.

The lifeboat then transferred the casualty to the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat and the crew took him ashore and he was subsequently taken onboard Rescue 118 for transfer to Letterkenny University Hospital.

Speaking on return from service, McCauley said: “We are really pleased at the positive outcome of this call. I would particularly like to commend our two crew members JJ O’Donnell and Evan O’Donnell who were in charge of the Y boat in challenging sea conditions and brought the casualty to safety. They did a fantastic job and we are lucky to have crew members of their calibre onboard the crew. All our volunteer crew members are very dedicated and don’t hesitate to answer the call to save lives.”

Coxswain Seán O’Donnell also thanked the boats from the local area who provided assistance in the search. He said: “This was a great joint effort with the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat, Rescue 118 and all the boats who took part in this rescue. It was this joint cooperation between all the rescue services and the local boat crews that was instrumental in bringing a positive outcome in the search and saving the life of the man.”

Arranmore RNLI’s crew on the service were coxswain Seán O’Donnell, mechanic Philip McCauley and volunteer crew members Aisling Cox, Evan O’Donnell, JJ O’Donnell, Jamie Neeson, Sharon O’Donnell and Mickey Dubh McHugh.

Meanwhile, on Saturday (9 September), the crew were called out at 6.40pm to a medevac from the island, where they transferred the patient to a waiting ambulance in Burtonport to be brought to Letterkenny University Hospital for assessment.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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