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Baltimore RNLI called out to a medical emergency on Heir Island

Lifeboats News Release

Baltimore RNLI were called out to a medical emergency yesterday evening (Thursday 20th July) to Heir Island off the coast of West Cork.

RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

Baltimore all-weather lifeboat (file image)

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.06pm on Thursday 20th July, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance to a woman who had sustained an injury whilst visiting the island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Heir Island at 5.20pm and Coxswain Aidan Bushe requested the immediate launch of the lifeboat’s Y-Boat with two volunteer lifeboat crew, Rob O’Leary and Don O’Donovan, on board in order to quickly access the beach where the casualty was. Due to the nature of the injury and having spoken to a medical professional who was also assisting on the beach, Aidan Bushe felt that a medical evacuation by air was necessary and contacted the Irish Coast Guard to request the helicopter. A HSE Ambulance crew had arrived at the lifeboat station so whilst the two lifeboat crew remained on the beach, the lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore, collected the two paramedics plus an additional lifeboat crew member and quickly returned to Heir Island. The two paramedics were then transferred onto the beach by the Y-Boat and care was handed over.

The Irish Coat Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, arrived on scene at 6.33pm and once the casualty was safely transferred aboard, they departed for hospital at 6.51pm. The two paramedics and two volunteer lifeboat crew then returned back to the lifeboat and once the Y-Boat was recovered the lifeboat departed Heir Island, arriving back at the station in Baltimore at 7.05pm.

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Pat Collins, Don O’Donovan, Stuart Musgrave and Rob O’Leary. Conditions during the call out were relatively calm with a north easterly force 2 wind and very little sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This is a great example of a multi-agency rescue with Baltimore RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service all working together to assist in this medevac. We would like to wish to casualty a speedy recovery. If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island call 999 or 112.’


RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0872906607 or email [email protected] or contact Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 or [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or [email protected]

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.