31 May 2023
By Tom Collins
Baltimore RNLI rescued a kayaker who got into difficulty in freshening winds this afternoon and was drifting backwards towards rocks off Sherkin Island.
The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly before 5pm this evening (Wednesday 31 May) and asked to conduct a search following a report that a kayaker was in difficulty in the middle of Baltimore Harbour at The Perch near Lousy Rocks.
The kayaker raised the alarm after she began to drift backwards towards rocks on the east side of Sherkin Island near the Globe Rocks.
The lifeboat helmed by Pat O’Driscoll and with crew members Davy Ryan, Eoin O’Driscoll and John Kearney Jnr onboard, launched at 4.50pm and arrived on scene six minutes later.
Weather conditions at the time were blowing a south easterly Force 5-6 wind with a choppy sea and good visibility.
Arriving on scene, the crew observed the kayaker standing on rocks in the water and facing incoming wind and waves on the east side of the Globe Strand.
The crew brought the casualty who was shaken but otherwise safe and well, onboard the lifeboat and retrieved the kayak before making their way back to the station.
Back on shore, the casualty was made comfortable in the lifeboat station.
Speaking following the call out, Baltimore RNLI Helm Pat O’Driscoll said: ‘This was a frightening experience for the kayaker who had prior to our arrival made several attempts to cross the harbour but was struggling in the wind and tiredness set in. She did the right thing in going to sea prepared with a means of communication so she could request the help when she needed it, and we were delighted to help and bring her back to safety.
‘Ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend and as we continue to experience some beautiful weather, we would encourage people to enjoy our coast and our sea, but we want them to do it safely. If planning to go on the water, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are engaging in water sports. Check weather conditions and tides before venturing out and if planning a trip to a beach, where possible go to a lifeguarded one. Have a means of calling for help such as a VHF radio or a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch. If you do get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’