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#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard crew winching two teenagers from the sea when one fell from her harness had never lifted two casualties at the same time before, as BreakingNews.ie reports.

Aoife Winterlich, 14, was one of four teenagers who had been swept into the sea off Hook Head during an outing for venture scouts on 6 December 2015.

Two managed to swim ashore but Winterlich got into difficulty in heavy seas. The fourth, a 15-year-old boy, attempted to keep her afloat until rescue arrived minutes later.

It was when Rescue 117’s crew attempted to transfer the pair into the helicopter that Winterlich slipped from her strop some 45 feet back into the water.

Records show that the winchman was back in the water to retrieve Winterlich within moments, and that she was in the helicopter just over a minute after.

The inquest into Winterlich’s death this week heard that she died from lack of oxygen to the brain resulting from near drowning, and that there was no evidence of contributing physical trauma.

Prof Maureen O’Sullivan of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, who conducted the post-mortem, said the fall was unlikely to have contributed to Winterlich’s death, according to RTÉ News.

The inquest also heard that the coastguard helicopter’s winchman and winch operator had never performed a lift of more than one casualty in a single lift.

Winch operator Neville Murphy told Dublin Coroner’s Court the situation that led his college Sean Jennings to descend with two winch strops was “unprecedented”.

“Two people in the water, that generally doesn’t happen,” he said. “We can only train to certain limits. We can never know what we are faced with as we look out the door of the aircraft.”

Earlier this year, the Air Accident Investigation Unit report into the incident concluded there was “nothing to suggest that the winchman’s decision-making was anything other than sound”.

The inquest is adjourned till October. BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#Rescue - The Arklow lifeboat joined Courtown RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard in a multi-agency rescue on Friday evening (11 August) after a teenage girl fell from an inflatable ‘doughnut’ being towed by a jet ski in Courtown Harbour.

Once on scene, around a mile east of Ardamine Beach south of Courtown, the Arklow lifeboat volunteers assisted their Courtown colleagued who were already in the water dealing with the casualty, a 13-year-old girl with suspected spinal injuries.

Arklow RNLI worked to clear the area of other vessels to allow for a safe airlift by the Waterford-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 117.

In the process, they picked up three other casualties — kayakers who had entered the water to assist in the rescue but found themselves adrift.

Independent.ie and The Irish Times have more on the story.

Published in Rescue

#Skibbereen - TheJournal.ie reports that a 14-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was struck in the head by a boom while yachting off Skibbereen yesterday morning (Saturday 24 June).

The teenager was airlifted to Cork University Hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, and the latest news from Independent.ie is that his condition was improving.

Elsewhere yesterday, Howth Coast Guard attended a 53-year-old man with serious head injuries sustained while kitesurfing off Sutton in North Co Dublin.

And Shannon’s Rescue 115 was called to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands for the medevac of a woman who suffered spinal injuries while taking part in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event.

Published in News Update

#Rescue - A tanker crewman was airlifted to hospital from the Port of Cork yesterday evening (Saturday 17 June) after sustaining a leg injury on board his vessel, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 was dispatched for the medevac of the casualty, who is thought to have broken his leg after a cable or rope snapped, after the local fire service was unable to remove him safely.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

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 - The Irish Coast Guard's Waterford-based rescue helicopter recovered two casualties in separate incidents on Sunday, according to the Irish Examiner.

One fisherman was retrieved from the French fishing vessel Larche some 50 nautical miles south of Cork after complaining of chest pains and difficulty breathing.

The man was winched on board coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 and transferred to hospital in Cork for treatment.

In a separate incident, a hillwalker was airlifted from Slievenamon in Tipperary after suffering leg injuries in a fall - the second such accident in the area over the weekend.

Published in Coastguard

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended a ministerial review of stability standards for fishing vessels following its report into the death of a crab fisherman off Co Cork in January last year.

Gerry Hegarty drowned after a wave struck the crab boat Carraig An Iasc, which was fully loaded with crab pots at the time, causing it to capsize and sending its two-man crew into the water.

Hegarty, who was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or other buoyancy aid, got into difficulty while attempting to swim ashore with his crewmate and skipper James Fitzgerald, who subsequently raised the alarm.

Lifeboats from Ballycotton and Crosshaven, as well as Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, were tasked to the incident. Divers from Naval Service vessel LE Emer located the sunken crab boat but no body was found.

A coastguard search of the area continued over a number of days without success. Hegarty's body was eventually recovered on 17 February 2011 at Ringabella Strand in Co Cork.

The MCIB found it probable that the Carraig An Iasc encountered wind or wave action or a combination of both that caused the vessel to heel to an angle beyond which it was able to recover from its loaded condition. The vessel's Code of Practice Declaration of Compliance was valid until 15 July 2013.

The board noted that there have been "a number of incidents caused by overloading boats thus effecting stability", and recommended that the Minister for Transport reviews and revises the stability standards in the current Code of Practice to improve these standards.

It was also recommended that a safety notice be issued to all skippers and owners in the fishing fleet reminding them of their legal responsibility to ensure that all their crew wear PFDs or lifejackets while on deck.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#LIFEBOATS - Ballycotton's RNLI lifeboat was dispatched in poor conditions Wednesday evening to fishing boat taking on water some 20 miles south east of the Co Cork town, FishNewsEU.com reports.

Assisted by the Waterford coastguard helicopter Rescue 117, the lifeboat stood by the Irish-registered fishing vessel as its four-man crew kept the water intake under control and headed towards Ballycotton harbour under its own power.

Once returned to port, an RNLI salvage pump was placed aboard the boat to extract the excess water, and the crew offered thanks to the emergency services for their assistance.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Rescue 117 is RTÉ’s new 6 part documentary series capturing rescues as they unfold from the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter search and rescue base in Waterford, Ireland. The series airs on RTE1 at 8.30pm on 14th September. A promo video is below

 

 

Published in Rescue

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