Update: Missing paddle-boarders located alive

Update: Missing paddle-boarders located alive



12.55pm – Two missing paddle boarders have been located alive south of Inis Oírr. It’s understood that the pair were found by the crew of a fishing boat clinging to lobster pot buoys. The hero fishermen have been named as Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan.

The Irish Coast Guard has confirmed that the search is now standing down and have thanked everyone that assisted in this SAR operation.

Local boat clubs; flying clubs; fishermen and dozens of members of the public who helped in the search have been thanked by the Coast Guard and RNLI for their help.

Image: Irish Coast Guard

11.55am – The Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 has also joined the search while at least two private aircraft, a fixed-wing plane and a helicopter, are assisting with the operation. An aircraft from Aer Arann has also been deployed to help with the search.

Local volunteer coastal search groups including the Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit have also joined the effort. A number of local fishing boats are also providing assistance.

Members of Clare-based Burren Sub Aqua Club were also standing by and ready to launch from Doolin Pier to assist in the operation when news that the casualties had been found alive came through.

The Irish Coast Guard has confirmed: “All available Air and Marine Rescue assets are currently being utilised in the search and the Coast Guard are liaising with An Garda Síochána at Salthill in an effort to locate the two missing females. Any sightings or information should be reported to the Coast Guard at MRSC Valentia  on 112 or 999.”

Earlier: A major search continued through the night for two people feared missing in Galway Bay.

The alarm was raised at around 9.00pm last night when it was reported that two people on paddle-boards were overdue and feared missing at sea. It’s understood they are a girl aged 17 and a 23-year-old woman who were taken out to sea from the Spiddal area.

The Galway RNLI lifeboat was first launched and requested to commence a search in the area off Spiddal, Barna and Furbo in Galway.

Soon afterwards, the Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat was tasked to assist in the operation while the Costello Bay and Cleggan (Galway) and Doolin (Clare) units of the Coast Guard launched their search boats and have been searching their respective coastlines.

Conditions in the bay at times were described as challenging with strong winds and thunder storms.

Three Irish Coast Guard helicopter have been involved in the search – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was scrambled to carry out a search of the bay while Rescue 118 from Sligo was also tasked when Rescue 115 returned to Shannon to refuel.

The search is continuing and is being coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.

Additional resources are expected to join the search during the day while family members, relatives and friends of the missing women are expected to join a coastline search.

The Aran Islands RNLI all-weather lifeboat is involved in the search – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019