Lough Derg RNLI rescue two kayakers in the water near Garrykennedy
At 9:32 today (Saturday 28 December), Lough Derg RNLI launched at the request of Valencia Coast Guard to reports of two kayakers in the water near Garrykennedy.
Lough Derg RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew with Helm, Owen Cavanagh and crew Doireann Kennedy, Joe O’Donoghue and Jimmy Kjell Gundegjerde, launched the inshore B-class lifeboat Jean Spier. Weather conditions were cloudy with good visibility and southerly winds, Force 3/4.
The Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was also tasked and the mobile Coast Guard unit from Killaloe travelled by road to Garrykennedy to join in the major search and rescue operation, which also included the Gardaí.
The lifeboat crew arrived at the co-ordinates provided by the Coast Guard, but there was no sign of the casualties. After sighting the two casualties in the water Rescue 115 hovered above the location where two people were in the water and holding on to their kayaks. The lifeboat made their way immediately to the scene.
The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat crew immediately took both casualties out of the water and into the lifeboat and began casualty care. The lifeboat crew then brought the casualties to Garrykennedy harbour where they were met by ambulance and paramedics to whom the RNLI volunteers handed over the care of the casualties.
Owen Cavanagh, volunteer Helm at Lough Derg RNLI said: ‘ This was a major search and rescue operation today and I’m thankful we were able to rescue these two people from the water with the help of our colleagues. The water is extremely cold at this time year and with the two kayakers out of their craft and in the water they needed help immediately. Our thoughts are with them and their families and we hope they make a full recovery from their ordeal.’
Key facts about the RNLI
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 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.