Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew spent nine hours at sea last night to help bring a sick fisherman to safety.
The crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 9.45pm last night (Thursday 23 May) and go to the aid of the sick fisherman on a French vessel approximately 40 miles west of the Aran Islands. The lifeboat under Coxswain Mairtín O'Flaithearta, was requested to assist the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon who had been tasked earlier in the night and were already providing casualty care on scene and had attempted to winch the casualty to safety.
Weather conditions were moderate at the time with light westerly winds and a 1.5 to 2m swell.
Once on scene, a lifeboat crew member was transferred on to fishing vessel to assist the helicopter crew. A transfer to the lifeboat was attempted but due to the height of the vessel and the swell this was not possible.
The lifeboat proceeded to escort the vessel north of the Island where there was more shelter and the swell was only 1m. By this time the fisherman was well enough to be winched by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to hospital.
The Aran Islands RNLI all-weather lifeboat returned home at 6.30am this morning.
Speaking following the call out, Mairtín O'Flaithearta Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain said: 'The conditions out there last night were challenging due to the height of the vessel and sea conditions. The volunteer crew members drew on all their training and their joint exercises with the Coast Guard to aid in a successful rescue. We wish the fisherman a speedy recovery.’