1 August 2020
By Tom Collins
The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 12.54 pm this Saturday afternoon to go to the aid of two Kayakers who got into difficulties, in breezy conditions, off the headland of Dunworley Point on the Seven Heads Coastline in West Cork.
The two Kayakers were blown on to the remote ragged rocky headland of Birds Island off Dunworley, about 7 miles from Clonakilty, and found themselves seeking immediate assistance, as they had to abandon their Canoes. The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Micheal O Donovan and crew were underway within minutes and immediately proceeded to the area where the alert was raised. Also tasked by Valentia Radio was the Rescue 115 Coastguard Helicopter and the local Seven Heads Coastguard Unit. The two casualties managed to get onto the rocks after their frightening ordeal and climbed the cliffside to get onto some firm ground. The Lifeboat and Helicopter arrived on scene and the Helicopter landed on the headland to access the injuries to the two persons. The Lifeboat recovered paddles from the Kayaks and remained on the scene until the Helicopter airlifted one of the casualties to Hospital and the other person was taken to nearby safe terrain by the Coastguard unit.
Commenting on this afternoon’s callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Deputy Launching Authority Diarmuid O Mahony, along with the Seven Heads Coastguard unit spokesman Eamonn Barry thanked all the Lifeboat and Coastguard crew members for their quick response today and carrying out the rescue and assistance very professionally, in what could have been a very serious incident. They reiterated and thanked those in trouble for their quick action in seeking immediate help and assistance, as minutes matter and it is always vital to alert the Coastguard quickly when in difficulty.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Micheal O Donovan, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew members Dara Gannon, Ken Cashman, Denis Murphy and Mark John Gannon.
The Lifeboat refuelled after the callout and returned back to its mooring just after 3pm, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur.
How to stay safe on the water
- Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
- Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
- Don’t allow your family to swim alone
- Don’t use inflatables on the sea.
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, float to live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
- In an emergency dial 999 or 112, and ask for the Coast Guard