Elderly man rescued from rubber dinghy off Clare

Elderly man rescued from rubber dinghy off Clare


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

An elderly fisherman has been rescued from heavy seas off Co Clare after the engine in his small rubber dinghy failed. 

The alarm was raised by a surfer at around 4.30pm after he realised the man was in difficulty near the Cliffs of Moher.

The man in his late 60’s, believed to be Eastern European, had been fishing alone off Aill Na Searrach when the engine on his 2.2m (7.2ft) dinghy failed. He had been attempting to row back to Doolin but was making very little headway.

As darkness fell, the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard was alerted while the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter, Rescue 115, was also tasked to assist in the search and located the man soon after arriving on scene

As the rescue boat made its way to the scene, the crew of Rescue 115 remained in the area using the helicopter’s powerful lights to illuminate the scene below. The man was taken on board the rescue boat while his dinghy was towed behind.

Conditions in the area at the time were said to be ‘very challenging’ with a large sea swell reported.

On reaching the pier at Doolin, the man was met by gardaí who warned him of the dangers of launching such a small boat in rough conditions.

In 2011, a man drowned after he was tossed into the sea from a tiny dinghy near Kilkee.

The Latvian national was pronounced dead in hospital after he was recovered unconscious from the sea near Donegal Point. The tragedy was witnessed by a hiker who could only raise the alarm and watch helplessly from the cliff top.

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.