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Galway TD Calls for Review of Paddleboard Rescue to be Made Public

24th August 2020
Ella Glynn, who was rescued with her cousin Sara Feeney off Inis Oirr earlier this month, pictured with her parents Johnny and Deirdre on Sunday after she arrived home from University Hospital Galway Ella Glynn, who was rescued with her cousin Sara Feeney off Inis Oirr earlier this month, pictured with her parents Johnny and Deirdre on Sunday after she arrived home from University Hospital Galway Photo: Joe Shaughnessy

The Irish Coast Guard has said it is reviewing the rescue of two young women who survived 15 hours at sea on paddleboards after they were swept across Galway Bay.

As The Irish Independent reports today, Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly has called for the findings of a review to be made public, with recommendations for future rescues.

Cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were clinging to crab gear floats south of the Aran islands when they were found by Galway fishermen Patrick and Morgan Oliver on August 13th.

A major air-sea search had been tasked by Valentia Marine Rescue Sub-Centre after they failed to return from a short paddle on the air-filled boards off Furbo beach, some 12km west of Galway on the evening of August 12th.

The Olivers joined the search on Thursday morning, and headed straight for the Aran islands at the mouth of the bay, guessing that this was the most likely location in a north-easterly wind.

The two women, who had lashed their boards together and were wearing buoyancy aids but no wetsuits, had been carried 17 nautical miles from their original location at this point.

The Irish Coast Guard has confirmed that a review into the incident is “ongoing”, and is “in common with all Coast Guard search and rescue interventions”.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has said it is not conducting an inquiry.

However, Ms Connolly (Ind) has said while such a review by the Irish Coast Guard is “welcome as a first step”, it should be conducted “reasonably quickly”.

“I also believe that findings and recommendations should be made public so that lessons can be learned,” Ms Connolly said.

She paid tribute to the Oliver family, originally from the Claddagh, for their response, and to all those who had participated in the extensive search on sea, in the air and on both sides of Galway Bay.

Read The Irish Independent report here

Published in Galway Harbour
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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