‘Lucky’ kayaker rescued from Lough Swilly

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A 19-year-old kayaker has been treated for hypothermia after being rescued from the water at Lough Swilly on Saturday afternoon.

The Young Mayo Man had been taking part in a race for the Crana Canoe Weekend when the accident occurred.

It is believed he spent two hours in the water before he was rescued by members of the Lough Swilly RLNI and Coastguard.

A search of the Swilly conducted by Lough Swilly RNLI Tyne and Atlantic Class lifeboats resulted in a missing kayaker being recovered.

Joe Joyce, from the Lough Swilly RLNI branch said on arrival atthe scene the crew of the lifeboat found the young man holding on tightly to his upturned kayak and relieved to see help.

He added the initial alarm was raised at 2pm by shore marshals of a kayaking competition who reported a kayaker overdue.

“Malin Head Coastguard launched Lough Swilly RNLI’s inshore and all weather lifeboats as well as tasking the Coastguard Helicopter from Sligo. Three yachts from Fahan Yacht Club and a Dive Rib from Inishowen Sub Aqua Club also assisted in the search,” said Mr Joyce

After searching the mid section of the lough for approximately thirty minutes the casualty was spotted by one of the yachts and Lough Swilly ILB proceeded directly to the area.

Commenting on the recovery operation, Helmsman Eamonn Mahon said that as they approached the casualty in the water his first words to the crew were “I thought no one was going to come for me!”.

The lifeboat crew recovered him from the water and then transferred him to the All Weather Lifeboat when it arrived on scene.

“Showing signs of hypothermia the casualty was treated aboard the lifeboat prior to paramedics boarding the boat that had by then made its way to Rathmullan Pier,” explained Joe. “After an examination by the paramedics and some follow up precautions the young kayaker returned to Buncrana Pier aboard the lifeboat where he was meet by his relieved friends.”

This is the second rescue mission by the Coastguard and RLNI in the past month as earlier this month six fishermen were rescued from a life raft off the coast of Malin Head when their boat ran into difficulty.

The 19-year-old was then taken to Letterkenny General Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia, however he did not suffer any other injuries.