Sea rescue boy (9) transferred to Dublin hospital

Sea rescue boy (9) transferred to Dublin hospital


Blackhead Lighthouse in north Clare where the young boy fell into the sea – Photo: © Pat Flynn, 2014

A 9-year-old boy rescued from the sea in Co Clare late on Sunday night has been transferred to a Dublin hospital for further treatment.

The boy, who lives in Limerick City, had been with his father in an area where a number of men had been fishing from rocks close to Blackhead lighthouse in the north of the county.

The alarm was raised shortly after 9.00pm and a massive multi-agency search and rescue operation was quickly put into action by the Irish Coast Guard.

The Doolin unit of the Coast Guard was alerted at 9.13pm and quickly launched their boat and raced to the scene. Other personnel travelled to the area by road to coordinate a shore line search.

The Shannon based search and rescue helicopter was also scrambled reaching the search site in about 10 minutes. Gardaí were also alerted and travelled to the area.

The emergency call reported a boy had fallen into the sea and that he was threading water but was unable to make back it to the shore. The cliffs are about 30 feet high at the location.

The unconscious boy was located quickly and recovered from the water by the Doolin rescue boat crew who promptly initiated CPR before the child was airlifted to Galway University Hospital.

Search teams met with a Polish man at the scene who tried to explain to them what happened. It’s believed the young boy may have been in the water for up to 40 minutes before he was located.

It’s also understood that a lifebuoy located nearby was thrown to the child in an effort to rescue him. The boy’s father also attempted to reach the child and sustained cuts and bruises from climbing down the rock face to the water.

The Galway RNLI lifeboat was also sent to assist in the search while the Kilkee unit of the Coast Guard, which had been training south of Doolin at the time,

The operation was coordinated by the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue coordination centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry.

A Coast Guard spokesman confirmed: “We received a report of a person in the water near the lighthouse at Blackhead. The Doolin unit of the Coast Guard was dispatched along with the Shannon based rescued helicopter Rescue 115. The RNLI lifeboat from Galway was also sent to assist.”

“The boy was located quickly and recovered from the water to the boat where CPR was initiated before the child was transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to Galway University Hospital,” the spokesman added.

The critically ill boy was transferred to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin yesterday afternoon.

Last December, a 47-year-old Lithuanian man was swept into the sea while shore fishing in the same area. Despite a 14-day a search the man’s body was not found.

Blackhead Lighthouse in north Clare, the scene of Sunday night’s accident – Photo: © Pat Flynn, 2014
Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.