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Kayaker rescued by Courtmac RNLI off Old Head coast

May 25th, 2022 5:51 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The lifeboat crew under coxswain Mark John Gannon after arriving back from the call this afternoon with Duty Launch Authority Philip White.

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A lone kayaker who got into difficulty on the western side of the Old Head of Kinsale  was rescued by members of Courtmacsherry RNLI this afternoon.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI all weather lifeboat 'Frederick Storey Cockburn' was called out at 3.15pm by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Rescue co-ordination centre.

The lifeboat under coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of five was launched and headed at speed to the scene of the alert.

The conditions at sea this afternoon were of strong winds creating a strong swell off the coast.The Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter which was exercising in Cork Harbour was also tasked as was the Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat, the Old Head / Seven Heads Coastguard Unit and naval vessels that were on patrol in the near vicinity. The incident happened beneath the rocky cliff-face near the 16th Hole on the Old Head Golf Course.

As the lifeboats and the helicopter arrived on scene within 20 minutes of the callout, the casualty had been blown on to the rocks and thankfully succeeded in climbing up the cliff-face to the 16th Golf green above. The lifeboats recovered the kayak from the water and the Coast Guard unit assessed the casualty who was very happy to be on the safe surrounds of the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI duty launch authority Philip White said:'It was great to see the quick reaction of all our volunteers this afternoon who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to have the lifeboat underway in minutes, to help someone in distress.  The persons on the golf course deserve great praise for alerting the rescue agencies quickly by ringing 999 or 112, as a fast response to an incident like this was so important, if the person was not physically able to climb the rock-face.'

 The Courtmacsherry lifeboat crew this afternoon were coxswain Mark John Gannon, Duty Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Conor Dullea and Paul McCarthy.  It has been a busy week for the Lifeboat Station in Courtmacsherry with three callouts in the past seven days.

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