Date Published : August 30th, 2015 Published By : adminOne man has died following a Search & Rescue operation off the Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford last night. In total, ten people were rescued from water by Kilmore Qualy RNLI volunteers, assisted by the Irish Coast Guard and other Search and rescue units and a crew of the Saltee Island passenger ferry ‘An Crossan’.
File Photo: (Kilmore Quay RNLI at Night Incident)
The ten were are believed to have been in the water for up to five hours after their boat, an 18ft leisure craft overturned in choppy waters when a breaking wave stove in the windows in the wheelhouse and swamped the vessel.
The alarm was raised at around when the boat became overdue and failed to return home at sunset. A known person to the group raised the alarm with Kilmore Quay RNLI’s Coxswain at 11.15pm
Kilmore Quay’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was immediately launched at 11.30pm with five crew members on-board under Coxswain Eugene Kehoe.The Saltee Islands passenger ferry, the An Crossan, crewed by three Kilmore Quay RNLI lifeboat members also joined in the search along with Fethard RNLI, Kilmore Quay Coast Guard Unit and the Dunmore East Coast Guard Unit.
Kilmore Quay Lifeboat (Photo courtesy RNLI Press Office)
The lifeboat from Kilmore Quay was making its way towards Ballyteigue and the Coningmore Rocks when they received contact from the An Crossan that they had spotted an upturned hull and 10 people, one woman and nine males including a teenage boy, in the water, half a mile south of the Great Saltee Islands.
The Irish Coast Guards Rescue 117 was also scrambled from Waterford to assist.
Stock Photo: (Irish Coast Guard Helicopter R117 in Wexford)
It was when the passenger ferry’s search light went out temporarily that its crew members heard shouting from the sea. It is thought the party all of whom were wearing lifejackets had been in the water for four to five hours.
The crew of the An Crossan pulled all 10 people from the water and onto the ferry. One man who was in need of urgent medical attention was immediately transferred to the lifeboat which was alongside two minutes later. Lifeboat crew members administered casualty care before being winched by the Coast Guards R117 helicopter and airlifted to Waterford University Hospital. The man later died in hospital.
Stock Photo: (Wexford RNLI Crews)
The nine other people were transferred to Kilmore Quay on the passenger ferry where they were then brought into the RNLI lifeboat station and medically assessed before then being transferred to Wexford General Hospital by a number of Ambulance from the National Ambulance Service.
Kilmore Quay RNLI Volunteer Press Officer Aidan Bates has said the group had done the right thing in letting them know when to expect them back. ‘We would like to wish them all a speedy recovery from their ordeal. The party had done the right thing in letting someone know when they were due back and thankfully as a result of that the alarm was able to be raised. Thankfully, all 10 were wearing lifejackets which was crucial given the time they had spent in the water. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this incident’
The Irish Coast Guard has advised people to always log at TR with your local Coast Guard station and use the SafeTrx app, always carry EPIRBs, well fitted lifejackets and if possible PLBs. The Coast Guard concluded that these anglers were lucky in that the call went out early as darkness fell. Many are not!