Meanwhile, a rescue operation was mounted in Clare this evening after two swimmers were reported to be in difficulty. The alarm was raised shortly before 7.00pm when the Irish Coast Guard was alerted to the emergency.
It was initially reported that two swimmers were in trouble off White Strand near Miltown Malbay while later information suggested that the pair had been washed onto rocks.
The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to the incident along with the Doolin and Kilkee units of the Coast Guard; the National Ambulance Service and Gardaí.
The two people were later located safe and well and found to be two scuba drivers who were not in difficulty at all. The call is being treated as a false alarm with good intent.
Earlier: An elderly woman has been airlifted to hospital after she was injured in a fall at Spanish Point this afternoon.
The woman and her sister, understood to have been visiting the area and staying locally, were walking along rocks close to the beach when the incident occurred shortly before 1.00pm.
Local lifeguards and beachgoers went to her assistance and also raised the alarm. It’s understood that the woman slipped on a slippy surface and sustained multiple injuries.
The National Ambulance Service and Irish Coast Guard were alerted while a local doctor is also understood to have attended the scene. The Doolin and Kilkee units of the Coast Guard were requested to send resources to the incident to assist with recovering the woman.
It was found however that the woman had sustained potentially serious injuries and that it would have been too dangerous to carry her across the rocks to the ambulance.
The Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was requested to assist. The helicopter crew had just returned from another mission off the south coast when they were dispatched to Spanish Point.
On the ground, ambulance paramedics assessed and stabilised the injured woman. On arrival at the scene, Rescue 115’s winchman/paramedic was lowered onto the rocks to prepare the casualty for the airlift.
Around 90 minutes after the accident occurred the woman was safely winched on board the helicopter and flown to University Hospital Galway for treatment.
Several hundred onlookers, who had gathered along the shore nearby, applauded as the woman was taken on board the helicopter. They also clapped for ambulance and Coast Guard crews as they made their way back to their vehicles.