Clogherhead and Kilkeel RNLI involved in call out to windsurfer reported missing
Clogherhead and Kilkeel RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather and inshore lifeboats this afternoon (Tuesday 1 February) after a windsurfer was reported missing in Carlingford Lough.
The lifeboats were requested to launch just before 2pm following an initial report that a person was missing in the water off Killowen Point. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin was also tasked along with Kilkeel Coastguard and Greenore Coast Guard.
There was a Force Seven westerly wind at the time with moderate to rough seas.
Arriving on scene, Clogherhead RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Declan Clinton and with four crew onboard, began a search on request from the mouth of Carlingford Lough up towards Greenore and Greencastle. During the search, Kilkeel RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew located a sailboard.
Meanwhile, the windsurfer managed to swim safely to shore on the north side of Carlingford and subsequently alerted the emergency services that he was safe. The casualty had got into difficulty when he was knocked off his sailboard. Due to the tides in the lough at the time, the sailboard was taken away faster than the casualty could swim to it, and he made the decision to swim to shore instead. On the shore, Kilkeel Coastguard assessed the casualty to ensure he was safe and well.
Speaking following the call out, Clogherhead RNLI mechanic Padraig Rath said: ‘The windsurfer did all the right things when he found himself in difficulty and we were delighted to hear he made it to shore safely. This was a multi-agency response today and we would like to commend our colleagues in the various other agencies as well as our own volunteers for their inter-agency teamwork.
‘We would encourage windsurfers to always carry a means of calling for help and to consider wearing a personal locator beacon especially if windsurfing alone. Always tell someone else where you are going and when you are due back. Always wear a personal floatation device and never sail out further than you can swim back.’
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.
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