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  • Northside East

Busy period for Skerries RNLI 

Friday, 4th October, 2019 8:00am
Busy period for Skerries RNLI 

The capzised currach off Skerries.

Busy period for Skerries RNLI 

The capzised currach off Skerries.

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SKERRIES RNLI crewmembers had a busy period recently when they were involved in two rescues within 24 hours. 

Shortly after 5pm on September 21 they were tasked after Dublin Coast Guard received a Mayday distress call from a 14-foot currach that had capsized near Skerries, leaving one man and two teenagers in the water.

Initially the location was unclear, but several 999 calls from concerned members of the public confirmed that it was near the port lateral marker, known locally as the perch mark, just off the headland in Skerries.

The volunteer crew launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat ‘Louis Simson’ and proceeded immediately to the stricken vessel which could be seen from the lifeboat station. 

Arriving on scene at the same time as the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, the crew discovered that the tender for Skerries Sailing Club, driven by Barra Collins, had been alerted to the Mayday transmission by local angler Ciaran O'Keeffe, and together they had managed to pull one man and two teenagers from the water.

The casualties were transferred to the lifeboat and brought ashore and into the lifeboat station to dry off and warm up. 

Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics from Skerries fire station attended to administer first aid before a HSE ambulance arrived and gave all the casualties a full check over.

Volunteers from Skerries Coast Guard were also on the scene to ensure there was no risk of pollution from the capsized vessel and provided assistance in scene safety.

The capsized boat was returned to the beach and the oars and other items lost overboard were recovered. There was a force 3 south easterly wind with a slight sea swell at the timew.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning, said: “Accidents can happen at sea at any time. Everyone on board was wearing a lifejacket, and they had a waterproof VHF to raise the alarm, which is really encouraging to see. 

“This was a great team effort across multiple different emergency services with everyone playing their part. 

“We’d also like to commend Ciaran and Barra for their swift actions. Whenever there are people in the water every second counts.” 

The following day Skerries RNLI was tasked shortly before 6pm after Dublin Coast Guard received a 999 call from a man stranded on St Patrick’s island.

The ‘Louis Simson’ was launched by the volunteer crew and made its way around the headland to the island. 

The man was quickly spotted on the shore and the lifeboat was manoeuvred near to the shoreline before a crewmember was sent ashore to check on his condition.

The man, who was cold and wet but otherwise unharmed, had been kayaking around the island when he struck a rock and holed his kayak. He managed to swim to the island and dial 999 using his mobile phone which had been secured in a waterproof casing.

He was taken on board the lifeboat and brought to the station where he warmed up and received some dry clothes. No further treatment was required. 

Conditions at the time were a force 3 south easterly wind.

Mr Canning said: “It’s been a busy weekend for our volunteers with two callouts in just over 24 hours. Both incidents ended well thankfully. It shows the importance of always carrying a means of contacting the shore to call for help.”

Skerries RNLI passing the perch mark in Skerries.

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