Kayaker and 'Lucky' the dog rescued after overnight on Dursey's Calf and Bull Rock

July 14th, 2021 10:48 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Lucky looks happy to be back with her owner, Keith Cookman, and Keith had nothing but praise for the professionalism of Castletownbere's RNLI volunteers. (Left to right) Marc O'Hare, Marney O'Donoghue, David O'Donovan, Keith Cookman, Kyle Cronin and Dean Hegarty, coxswain.

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A 50-year old man who was stranded overnight on the Calf Rock, west of Dursey Island, was rescued by the RNLI lifeboat this morning.

The man who had gone out kayaking with his dog the previous evening was spotted by the crew on a passing fishing boat and the alarm was raised at 9am this morning.

By 10.30am the operations manager with Castletownbere RNLI, Paul Stevens, was able to report that the man is 'safe and well' and on board the lifeboat.

Paul confirmed that the man, who is not a local, went to Bull Rock with his dog but as he was leaving his dog wouldn't come with him.

Rather than leave his dog, the kayaker went to Calf Rock because it offered more shelter but as he was landing he became separated from his canoe.

After he was spotted this morning, the lifeboat crew – which included coxswain Dean Hegarty, Marc O'Hare, Marney O'Donoghue, David O'Donovan and Kyle Cronin – went to his rescue and then carried out a second mercy mission when they extracted the dog from Bull Rock.

‘The dog’s name is Lucky - something you couldn’t make up if you tried,’ Paul told The Southern Star, ‘and all of the crew members are delighted to be able to report "All’s well that ends well".’

On a more serious note, the operations manager urged anyone taking to the sea to have a VHF radio in order to be able to make contact in the event of an emergency situation.

READ an interview with the kayaker, Keith Cookman, in this week's Southern Star, out Thursday.


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