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Clifden RNLI launched to two young kayakers in difficulty off Claddaghduff

Lifeboats News Release

Clifden RNLI launched during the week (Wednesday, 8 August) to assist two young boys who had got into difficulty kayaking between Omey Island and Actons beach in Claddaghduff. One of the boys ended up in the water after he lost contact with his kayak while the second boy was left trying to help him.

Clifden RNLI D class file photo


Clifden RNLI D Class file photo

While returning from passage to Kilrush, Clifden RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew were alerted by the Coast Guard at 2.32pm that they had received reports of two boys in difficulty, kayaking off Claddaghduff. The Coast Guard requested the launch of the station’s two inshore lifeboats to go immediately to their aid.

The weather on scene was north-west force six, gusting seven, when Clifden RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat with Thomas Davis as Helm and Andrew Bell and James Mullen as crew. The station’s D-class inshore lifeboat was taken by road to be launched at Acton’s beach by shore crew John B Mannion, with Helm Joe Acton and crew Barry Ward and Ian Shannahan.

The station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat arrived on scene at Omey and immediately observed people on the east side of the island waving to them. On bringing the lifeboat closer to them they were informed that the two boys had made it to Fountain Hill beach.

The lifeboat crew made their way to the beach in heavy surf with the Helm manoeuvring the vessel as close to shore as possible to allow a crewmember leave the lifeboat and swim the short distance to shore to check on the boys. Lifeboat crewmember James Mullen assessed them and found them to be very cold and in shock after their ordeal but decided that they did not require further medical attention. James then accompanied the two boys up to the road where they were met by the RNLI Land Rover and taken to a family friend’s home.

The D class lifeboat was joined at Acton’s beach by the Atlantic 85 lifeboat and after a search they located the missing kayak. However due to the location and heavy surf it was not possible to safely recover it.

Commenting on the callout Clifden RNLI crewmember James Mullen said, ‘This was quite a harrowing experience for the two lads and we are relieved that it ended well. A heavy surf can catch even the most experienced kayakers out and the boys did very well to make it safely to shore. Our helm skilfully manoeuvred the lifeboat to bring it so close to shore in the conditions present. We would always advise people kayaking to carry a means of calling for help and to always keep it in reach.’


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Catherine Pryce Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Clifden RNLI Tel: 086 400 6666 or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email:

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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