Lough Bunny search stood down

Lough Bunny search stood down


File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2018

A major search of a lake in Clare has been stood down after being confirmed as a false alarm.

Emergency services were alerted this morning after a canoe and paddle were spotted adrift on Lough Bunny near Boston in the north of the county. It had been feared that a person may have been missing in the lake.

The alarm was raised at around 9.30am and a significant search operation was mounted involving the Irish Coast Guard, An Garda Síochána, Fire Service, National Ambulance Service.

A unit of the fire brigade from Gort Co Galway responded to the incident along with ambulance paramedics from Ennis, Co Clare.

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was also tasked to the incident as well as the volunteer unit of the service from Doolin.

Fire personnel, specially trained in water rescue, launched a boat and carried out a surface search of the northern end of the lake while the helicopter crew undertook a visual search from the air.

Emergency services at the scene at Lough Bunny – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

Members of the Atlantic Dive Club, who live close to the scene, made their way to the area to offer assistance if required. The club provides search and recovery services on a voluntary basis to the statutory agencies when needed.

Gardaí closed the L1010 road between Tubber and Boston while the search was going on. At around 10.40pm, the canoe was recovered from the lake by fire personnel.

The operation was stood down a short time later after local inquiries established that the canoe may have been on the water for a time, possibly several months.

The search effort was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry.

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.