A search was launched in Galway Bay this evening following reports that a red flare between the Aran Islands and the mainland.
Concerned that the sighting was of a distress flare and that there may have been a vessel in difficulty, the Irish Coast Guard mounted a search operation.
Aran Islands RNLI and the Costello Bay unit of the Irish Coast Guard launched their boats and carried out a comprehensive search of an area close to the entrance of Rosaveel Bay in Co Galway. Coast Guard land teams also search the coastline.
It’s understood that the Coast Guard received an emergency call from a concerned member of the public on one of the Aran Islands.
Rescue coordinators later received information that fireworks had been seen in the area at around the same time or shortly before the alarm was raised.
After a comprehensive air, sea and land search was completed and nothing had been found, crews were stood down. It’s believed that fireworks may have been genuinely mistaken for a distress flare. The incident is being treated as a false alarm with good intent.
Speaking after the call out Aran Islands RNLI volunteer Press Officer Lena O’Connell said: “Thankfully, the call out was a false alarm, with good intent. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The volunteer crew members didn’t hesitate to answer the call and get to the search area as quickly as possible.”
If you see someone in trouble or see a distress signal, don’t hesitate to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Meanwhile, earlier in Co Clare, the Killaloe unit of the Coast Guard tasked to an incident near the bridge in the town.
It had been reported that a sail boat had suffered engine problems north of Killaloe Bridge. The Killaloe volunteer team launched at around 5.45pm from Pier Head and located the casualty vessel within minutes.
A Coast Guard member was transferred the vessel and a tow line was set up. The vessel was then taken on tow and safely moored to a pontoon on the Clare shore.
Both operations were mounted and coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.