Youghal RNLI rescued a man found clinging to his kayak in the sea off Redbarn beach, Cork on Sunday. The man had been in the cold water for 45 minutes before the arrival of the RNLI rescue crew.
The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 2pm after a member of Youghal Coast Guard who was driving past the beach at the time, saw what he thought was someone in trouble in the water.
He drove down into the car park at the front strand to further investigate and immediately raised the alarm. A second member of the public also raised the alarm.
The lifeboat helmed by Patsy O’Mahony and with crew members John Griffin, Eddie Hennessy and Martin Morris onboard launched at 2.08pm and arrived on scene four minutes later. The man had got into difficulty one mile from the beach which is approximately two and a half miles from Youghal Lifeboat Station.
Weather conditions at the time were good with a Force 2-3 north westerly wind. The tide was falling and the water while calm was cold.
On scene, the lifeboat crew observed the kayaker clinging to his board which he had fallen from. He had been unable to get back into the seat on top of the kayak and was immersed in the cold sea, for up to 45 minutes. He was showing signs of hypothermia when the crew recovered him from the water and immediately transferred him onto the lifeboat. The crew began to administer casualty care to the kayaker while reassuring him and making him comfortable.
The man was brought the short distance back to the lifeboat station where casualty care continued until a doctor from the East Cork Rapid Response unit arrived and took over. The kayaker was then transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.
Speaking following the call out Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The kayaker who was wearing a lifejacket when he got into difficulty this afternoon, had been in the water for a long time before he was spotted and he was suffering from hypothermia when we reached him. Time was of the essence and I have no doubt that a life was saved. I would like to commend the member of the public and the member of the Coast Guard unit here in Youghal who spotted the kayaker in difficulty and raised the alarm. Our crew responded rapidly and used their skills and training to administer casualty care. The kayaker was lucky today and all at Youghal RNLI would like to wish him a speedy recovery following his ordeal.
‘We would always encourage everyone taking to the sea to respect the water. Always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach. Wear a personal floatation device. Check the weather and tides. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and your trip.’