Kilrush RNLI tasked to assist in Kerry search

Kilrush RNLI tasked to assist in Kerry search

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The Kilrush RNLI lifeboat was launched last night to assist in a major multi-agency search and rescue operation in Co Kerry after two people were feared to be in difficulty in the sea.

The Irish Coast Guard received a report at around 11.00pm of a person in difficulty in the water off Ballybunion beach. It was also feared that there may have been a second swimmer in trouble.

Watch officers at the Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry promptly mounted a search operation.

While search and rescue crews from two counties were being mobilised, a Pan-Pan radio message was broadcast on the marine emergency channel requesting any vessels in the area to assist if possible.

The Ballybunion unit of the Irish Coast Guard along with members of Ballybunion Rescue were alerted while the RNLI lifeboat at Fenit in Kerry was tasked as well as the RNLI lifeboat at Kilrush Co Clare, on the other side of the Shannon Estuary.

Rescue 115 was also tasked by was stood down – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The crew of the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, were also scrambled. Gardaí and National Ambulance Service paramedics made their way to the scene.

It later emerged that two persons, a male and female, had gotten into difficulty while swimming but managed to make their way ashore. It’s understood the pair were from Lithuania and had gone for a late night swim when they were spotted in the water by a member of the public who became concerned for their safety.

They were met by emergency services and assessed at the scene by ambulance paramedics. They were found to be tired but otherwise uninjured.

One it was confirmed they were safe and that no other person was missing, the search operation was stood down.

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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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