Courtmacsherry RNLI in major search off the Old Head of Kinsale
Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out at 10.15pm last night (Wednesday 4 May) to partake in a search off Garrettstown and Garrylucas beaches near the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.
Members of the public noticed a person swimming alone off shore and an item of clothing was located at the beach some time later.
The lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and crew of six were underway within minutes and proceeded in the dark of night to the area of the search.
The lifeboat reached the area within 15 minutes and commenced a detailed search of the waters and coastline alongside the Kinsale RNLI inshore lifeboat and the Old Head / Seven Heads Coast Guard unit.
The search was joined later by the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford. A thorough search was undertaken using the powerful search lights, night vision and parachute flares from the lifeboat and the heat detection sensors of the helicopter, while the Old Head / Seven Heads Coast Guard unit combed the shoreline at Garrettstown and Garrylucas.
At 12.30am, when nothing was located and the Gardai had carried out carried out detailed enquiries on shore, the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Co- Ordination Centre called off the search and the lifeboat and the other rescue services returned to their bases.
Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'It was great to see the fast response of so many of our voluntary crew tonight when their bleepers activated which ensured that we were at the scene very quickly.
'It is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident like this occurs as the various rescue services are always at the ready 24 hours a day and great credit is due to the concerned people that raised the alarm last night.'
The Courtmacsherry volunteer lifeboat crew involved in this call out were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Duty mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Peter Nunan, Denis Murphy, Evin O Sullivan and Dean Hennessey.
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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