Volunteer lifeboat crew with Lough Swilly RNLI were involved in the dramatic rescue of a lone fisherman on Sunday afternoon. The man was found clinging to a lobster pot buoy off Tullagh beach near Clonmany.
His cries for help were heard by a woman and her son who were tending sheep nearby. They spotted him clinging to the buoy and alerted Malin Head Coast Guard Marine Rescue at 1.50pm.
Both the Lough Swilly RNLI high speed RIB and all-weather Tyne class lifeboats were despatched, as well as the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Sligo and the Coast Guard Greencastle boat. A local fishing vessel also took part in the search and rescue operation.
The local fishing crew, who were directed to the man’s location by the mother and son who had seen him from the beach, were first on the scene. They recovered the freezing casualty, who was wearing a lifejacket, onto their vessel.
Three minutes later the Lough Swilly RNLI inshore lifeboat arrived and the casualty was transferred onboard the lifeboat. The volunteer crew immediately administered oxygen and wrapped him blankets to warm him up. A few minutes later the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 arrived overhead and winched a paramedic onboard the lifeboat. He then assessed the casualty.
The Lough Swilly RNLI inshore lifeboat came ashore onto Tullagh beach where the Coast Helicopter landed nearby. The casualty was immediately transferred to the helicopter and flown to hospital for treatment.
Lough Swilly RNLI crewmember Joe Joyce said: “This man was very fortunate that his cries for help were heard by the mother and her son at Tullagh. Once they raised the alarm, help was at hand within minutes.
“From the arrival of the local fishing vessel, to the fast response of the lifeboat crew and Coast Guard, everyone worked together to help the casualty.
“We wish him a full recovery from his ordeal and we thank all the members of the public who had such a vital role in this rescue operation.”
Click on the link to watch the RNLI crew’s video footage of the rescue Watchtherescue.