September 21, 2020

Lifeboat volunteers come to the rescue of kayakers off coast of Wicklow

This was the moment local lifeboat volunteers winched a kayaker to safety after they got into trouble over the bank holiday weekend.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 3.20pm in Saturday following a report that two people who went out on a kayaking trip to Arklow Windfarm had not returned.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Ned Dillon and the volunteer crew of  Brendan Dillon, Geoff Kearnes, Eddie McElheron, Leigh Downey and Matt Heaney launched immediately and made its way to the scene.

Fortunately, weather conditions at the time were very good, with a calm sea, light wind and good visibility.

Approximately two miles east of Arklowone of the kayakers and his boat were transferred to the lifeboat, while the other one was safely escorted back to Arklow South Beach.

Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI Community Safety Officer, said: “Thankfully we were able to assist these kayakers safely back to shore, given the good weather and the relaxation of some the Covid 19 protocols, there are a lot more people around and on the water, we would like to re iterate our message that if you are going on or in the water: Always carry a means of calling for help, always wear a lifejacket and other appropriate protection, always check the weather and tides before going to sea  and please – respect the water.”

Arklow RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, the RNLI volunteers remain on call.

The RNLI has issued advice with the Irish Coast Guard, to ask people to avoid using the water for exercise while restrictions are in place.

“This is to minimise the risk to search and rescue volunteer crews, helicopter crew and other frontline emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to the coronavirus,” a spokesperson said.


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