A DIVER who is reported to have suffered a diving illness approximately 12 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale earlier this morning has been airlifted to Galway University Hospital by Coast Guard Helicopter (R116).
The diver is understood to have been diving at the wreck of the Lusitania when the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat received a call at 10:05am this morning and the all weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat Frederick Stormy Cockburn went to his aid.
Under coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of six the Lifeboat was underway within minutes. The distress alarm was raised by fellow diver crews on the site and all the emergency services were called. The Lifeboat reached the casualty area within 35 minutes . The diver was taken on board the Naval Ship LE George Bernard Shaw and further airlifted by the Coastguard Rescue 116 onwards to Cork University Hospital.
The diver received initial medical attention at Cork University Hospital before being transferred to the Galway based recompression facility. The operation was coordinated by the VALENTIA based Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre.
As this operation concluded, the Lifeboat received another May Day call to a 30 ft yacht in difficulty off the Seven Heads coastline and the lifeboat located this casualty in 20 minutes and proceeded to tow the stricken vessel back to the safe surrounds of Courtmacsherry Pier.
Commenting on this mornings Callouts , voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer praised all the crew for a very fast response and great professionalism as shown on two differing and difficult assignments.
The crew on board today calls were Coxswain Mark John Gannon, Mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Chris Guy, Austin McKenna, Dara Gannon and Conor Dullea.
The Lifeboat has now refueled and returned to its mooring.
The Lifeboat has now reached this casualty and is preparing to take the stricken vessel in tow.