The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter has been involved in two rescue operations in Co Kerry this afternoon.
Rescue 115 had been scrambled to the first call in Tralee Bay when it was diverted to a more serious and developing incident at Derrynane where a number of people were reported to be in difficulty in the sea.
The man and two children swept out to sea while swimming at around 12.20pm. Lifeguards on duty at the beach in Derrynane jumped into action while raising the alarm.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry mounted and coordinated a rescue operation dispatching local resources and Rescue 115.
The helicopter had been in the air responding to a call near Fenit and was redirected to the more serious incident at Derrynane. In the meantime, lifeguards managed to help the two children ashore however one man was left stranded on rocks offshore and unable to make it back to the beach.
Derrynane Inshore Rescue, part of Community Rescue Boats Ireland (CRBI), sent a shore team to the area and volunteers waded out into the surf to take the man safely ashore.
After being assessed by paramedics it was decided that all three be airlifted to hospital. The man was reported to be ‘exhausted and losing consciousness’ while the two children are believed to be shaken but otherwise unharmed.
Rescue 115 airlifted all three to Tralee General Hospital for further assessment and treatment as a precaution. The Irish Coast Guard has praised the lifeguards for their ‘outstanding response’ this afternoon.
Earlier, a multi-agency operation was mounted off Fenit Island in Kerry following a report that two people had been thrown overboard from a boat.
The incident occurred around midday when it was reported that a boat was out of control and travelling in circles near Barrow West north off Fenit Island. Initial reports suggested that one person had made it ashore but that a second was unaccounted for.
The Irish Coast Guard launched a search and rescue operation while issuing a radio message to any vessels in the area to assist and report back if possible.
Fenit RNLI’s all-weather and in-shore lifeboats were tasked along volunteers from Banna Rescue CRBI. Rescue 115 was dispatched to the scene from Shannon Airport.
As the helicopter made its way to the scene it was confirmed that both persons were taken ashore and while shaken, did not require medical attention or transport to hospital. Rescue 115 was then redirected to the developing incident at Derrynane.