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Arranmore RNLI launches for lone fisherman in swamped punt

Lifeboats News Release

Arrnamore RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched on Saturday evening at 6pm (9 April) when a lone fisherman who was out tending pots in a punt got into difficulty when his punt became swamped near a small group of islands near Arranmore and Gweedore.

The fisherman was winched to safety by the Coast Guard helicopter /Rescue 118 from Sligo in extremely challenging weather conditions which prevented the Arranmore lifeboat from reaching the fisherman.

Arranmore RNLI lifeboat mechanic Philip McAuley said, ‘ Conditions on scene were terrible and the small punt was overwhelmed by huge seas which saw swells of up to 20 feet breaking over the fisherman.  We took the lifeboat as close as we could but it was extremely dangerous.’

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Sligo lowered their winchman over the tiny boat and attempted to lift the man from his punt where he has been fishing for crabs and lobster but he had became tangled in his fishing ropes.  After carefully cutting him free the wichman brought him to safety under the watch of the lifeboat crew who stood by to offer assistance if needed.

Philip concluded, ‘ This was a great rescue by our colleagues on Rescue 118 in terrible weather.  The area was hard to access and the tangle of ropes made the rescue of the fisherman very tricky. We work closely with the Coast Guard on many rescues and this one was very challenging callout for everyone concerned. We would like to congratulate Rescue 118 on a very fine job.’

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For more information please contact Nora Flanagan Tel: 087 804 7032 Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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