Rescue 115 airlifts injured fisherman from trawler

Rescue 115 airlifts injured fisherman from trawler


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

A seriously injured fisherman had to be airlifted from a trawler off the Kerry coast late last night.

The alarm was raised at around 6.30pm when the skipper of the French fishing vessel requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard. It’s understood that the fisherman in his 40s had sustained crush injuries to his chest.

The trawler crew did not initially believe that their colleague’s injuries were serious enough to warrant an emergency medical evacuation by helicopter so requested that the man be removed from the vessel by lifeboat.

The Valentia RNLI lifeboat was tasked and launched at 7.20pm and proceeded to meet the trawler which was about 20 kilometres off the Blasket Islands.

On arrival at the scene, it was quickly established that the crew member was more seriously injured than previously thought so a helicopter was requested to assist.

The Valentia RNLI lifeboat was involved in the operation

At around 9.30pm, the Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter was tasked.

Rescue 115 rendezvoused with the trawler west of the Blasket Islands at around 10.10pm. The crew’s winchman/paramedic was lowered onto the deck of the vessel and taken below deck to the casualty.

The helicopter hovered overhead for over an hour while the casualty was assessed, treated and stabilised. With the help of the lifeboat crew the man was carried onto the deck and winched on board the helicopter.

Rescue 115 left the scene at around 11.10pm and airlifted the injured man to University Hospital Tralee where he was handed the man into the care of the HSE.

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.