A woman was rescued late on Thursday night after she fell from a jetty in a harbour in east Clare.
The drama began at around 8.30pm when a member of the public reported hearing someone shouting for help on the Lough Derg shoreline near Killaloe.
The Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard was alerted and were able to respond to the incident within minutes as one member had been at the base at the time.
The team launched their boat while other personnel travelled to the area by road to commence a search of the shoreline. The Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter and the HSE’s ambulance service were also alerted.
Soon after launching, personnel on the rescue boat located a cruise boat tied alongside at Harbour Village. The two people on board reported that a third crew member had lost her footing and had fallen from the jetty into the harbour.
The woman, who was unable to swim and not wearing a personal flotation device, was shouting for help. The woman’s husband and two members of the public manage to rescue her from the water.
Irish Coast Guard first responders administered first aid and waited for ambulance paramedics to arrive and carry out a more thorough assessment.
In the meantime, a landing area had been prepared for the helicopter at the local Killaloe GAA pitch.
The casualty was transported to the field by Coast Guard personnel and after being assessed by an advanced paramedic, specially trained in advance life support (ALS), it was decided the woman was well enough to be transported to hospital by road.
The woman was taken to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) where she was assessed. She was reported to have been ‘cold and badly shaken’ but is expected to make a full recovery.
A Killaloe Coast Guard spokesman said: “This callout was initiated by a member of public who heard someone calling out. She called to the Coast Guard base and the alarm was raised from there. The woman was apologetic for disturbing us but that’s what we’re here for.”
“If anyone gets into trouble on the water or if someone thinks another person is in difficulty, it’s best to call 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard. This incident was a great example of how the system works and of all services working well together,” he added.