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Lough Ree RNLI called to search for missing kayaker

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew were alerted by the Coast Guard yesterday morning (Saturday 4 March) when a lone kayaker failed to arrive at Hodson Bay on schedule.

File photo of Lough Ree RNLI


File photo of Lough Ree RNLI

The alarm was raised shortly before 12 noon when the man, who had departed Lecarrow at around 9:30 am, had not reached his intended destination. The lifeboat crew launched within minutes and proceeded to the western shore of Lough Ree, where they began to search the lake.

Working their way northwards towards Lecarrow, the crew checked all inlets and bays along the route, searching for any sign of the man or his kayak.

The weather at the time was windy and very cold, with persistent rain, making visibility poor. Shortly before one o'clock, Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was deployed, while Lough Ree RNLI crew members launched RIBs made available to them by Lough Ree Yacht Club and Athlone Sub Aqua Club.

The crews proceeded to methodically search the lake, widening the search area across to the eastern shore. Around 1:40pm, Coast Guard Rescue 118 sighted an object in the water near the eastern shore at Fat Head. The lifeboat crew quickly reached the area and recovered the casualty from the water.

Casualty care was administered by the lifeboat crew and continued throughout the journey back to Coosan Point, where the casualty was transferred into the care of ambulance paramedics and taken to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat helm Stan Bradbury, speaking this morning, said "We are deeply saddened to learn that the gentleman did not make it. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time. May he rest in peace."


RNLI Media Contact
For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email:

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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