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Lough Ree RNLI called to search for missing kayaker

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew were alerted by the Coast Guard yesterday morning (Saturday 4 March) when a lone kayaker failed to arrive at Hodson Bay on schedule.

File photo of Lough Ree RNLI

RNLI

File photo of Lough Ree RNLI

The alarm was raised shortly before 12 noon when the man, who had departed Lecarrow at around 9:30 am, had not reached his intended destination. The lifeboat crew launched within minutes and proceeded to the western shore of Lough Ree, where they began to search the lake.

Working their way northwards towards Lecarrow, the crew checked all inlets and bays along the route, searching for any sign of the man or his kayak.

The weather at the time was windy and very cold, with persistent rain, making visibility poor. Shortly before one o'clock, Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was deployed, while Lough Ree RNLI crew members launched RIBs made available to them by Lough Ree Yacht Club and Athlone Sub Aqua Club.

The crews proceeded to methodically search the lake, widening the search area across to the eastern shore. Around 1:40pm, Coast Guard Rescue 118 sighted an object in the water near the eastern shore at Fat Head. The lifeboat crew quickly reached the area and recovered the casualty from the water.

Casualty care was administered by the lifeboat crew and continued throughout the journey back to Coosan Point, where the casualty was transferred into the care of ambulance paramedics and taken to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat helm Stan Bradbury, speaking this morning, said "We are deeply saddened to learn that the gentleman did not make it. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time. May he rest in peace."

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RNLI Media Contact
For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: sarahgroarke@gmail.com or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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