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Group of up to 10 rowers rescued from River Corrib in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Group of up to 10 rowers rescued from River Corrib in Galway Group of up to 10 rowers rescued from River Corrib in Galway

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A potentially calamitous incident on the River Corrib at the weekend –  where up to 10 people had to be rescued – has sounded an urgent warning bell that should not be ignored, according to local emergency response groups.

The incident, which occurred shortly before midday on Saturday, led to the HSE putting a major incident plan in place while two Coast Guard helicopters were called out as well as ambulance and fire brigade being put on standby.

Two local boat crews who had been involved in a training exercise upstream from the Salmon Weir got into difficulty as they tried to return to base on the university side of the waterway.

The flow of the water – described as being ‘particularly powerful’ after the heavy rains of early January – pulled the two crews and their boats towards the Salmon Weir, with a potentially catastrophic incident being avoided when their craft were stalled by protective pontoons.

According to different reports, up to 10 people were in the water at one stage but were picked up by back-up vessels who were in the area at the time.

Gardaí, Galway Fire Brigade, the HSE and Ambulance Service as well as the Galway Lifeboat Service had been called up to provide emergency assistance before it was confirmed that all of those who were in the water had been picked up safely.

It has also been confirmed that the Galway Fire and Rescue Service will be asking the Marine Casualty Investigation Board to investigate the circumstances of last Saturday’s incident. None of those taken from the water had been wearing life jackets, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, who is also a member of the multi-agency group in the city dealing with water safety issues, told the Galway City Tribune that what happened on Saturday sounded an alarm bell that should not be ignored.

“There is no full-time rescue craft upstream from the Salmon Weir and while this would involve a cost of around €80,000 to €90,000 to set up, it is, we firmly believe, an absolutely essential gap to be filled.”

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the January 20 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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