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Sailor rescued from capsized boat

A sailor clinging to the upturned hull of his sailing boat in Clifden Bay had to be rescued by the volunteer Clifden lifeboat crew recently.

It was one of two weekend callouts, with Galway RNLI’s volunteer crew mobilsed following a report of two people stranded by the tide on Hare Island, in inner Galway Bay.

The first rescue occurred at 8.45pm last Thursday week, when the Clifden lifeboat crew were tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard to assist a sailor in difficulty in Clifden Bay. The call came in from a member of the public who had observed the sailor in the water.

The crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Joyce King, helmed by Joe Acton with crew Alan Pryce and Shane Conneely. They were assisted by John Brendan Mannion on the shore.

The crew arrived on scene, a short distance out in Clifden Bay, to find the casualty clinging to the hull of his upturned boat. The casualty had been in the water for some time and was cold but in good spirits otherwise.

Thankfully, the experienced sailor was also wearing a lifejacket. The crew transported the sailor back to shore to warm up and then set about righting the sailboat and towing it back to a safe mooring in the Bay.

“With this current spell of good weather we expect to see people enjoying water sports and boating activities around our coasts,” said Clifden RNLI Helm Joe Acton.

“We want everyone to enjoy the water and come home safely, please always remember to wear a lifejacket when out on the water, always carry a mobile phone or VHF radio to call for help in an emergency.

“Boats should have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) which is registered and regularly maintained.

“The volunteer crew at our station are on call 24/7. If you get into difficulty, or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard,” he added.

Meanwhile, Galway RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard  following a report of two people stranded by the tide on Hare Island.

The crew’s pagers were activated at 4.05pm and the boat was launched just ten minutes later. The lifeboat was helmed by Brian Niland with crew Olivia Byrne, Dave McGrath and Sean McLoughlin on board.

Paul Carey was the Launch Authority and co-ordinated the rescue from the lifeboat station.

“Conditions were favourable with the tide having turned and starting to flood. The lifeboat was on the scene at 4.20pm and the two people were located and brought on board. The casualties were safe and well and were brought back to the lifeboat station at Galway Docks,” he said.

Pictured: Clifden RNLI rescue this sailor from the hull of capsized sailing boat. Photo: RNLI/David Barry

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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