Rescue 115 in long-range Atlantic rescue

Rescue 115 in long-range Atlantic rescue

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Photo: Irish Defence Forces

A seriously injured crewman has been airlifted from a Russian fishing vessel in difficult conditions off the west coast this evening.

Two search and rescue helicopters were involved in the operation while the Irish Naval vessel LÉ Róisín also assisted at the scene.

The large Russian registered vessel was approximately was over 140 nautical miles (260kms) west of Valentia Island in Kerry when the alarm was raised.

Crew members from the LÉ Róisín, which had been on patrol in the area at the time, launched their RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and boarded the massive ship to assist with evacuating the injured man.

While the crew of the Shannon based helicopter Rescue 115 airlifted the casualty, their colleagues on board Rescue 117 provided ‘Top Cover’ radio communications support.

Weather conditions in the area for helicopter operations were difficult, bordering on marginal for such operations with a strong West South West swell and winds gusting in excess of 35mph.

An Irish Coast Guard spokesman confirmed that the helicopter made an ‘essential fuel stop’ at Kerry Airport before continuing to Shannon Airport where an ambulance was waiting to take the casualty onto University Hospital Limerick.

The operation was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coats Guard marine rescue coordination centre on Valentia Island.

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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.

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