A kayaker had a lucky escape this afternoon after he got into difficulty and capsized in rough sea conditions near Doolin Co Clare.
Two teenagers had been kayaking near Trá Leathan when one capsized and was thrown into the water. He was unable to get back onto his kayak because of what were described as ‘choppy conditions’.
The alarm was raised at around 4.00pm when people walking a popular local trail noticed that one of the kayakers appeared to be in trouble. The Irish Coast Guard was alerted and a search and rescue operation was quickly mounted.
Watch officers at the Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre Valentia Island in Kerry tasked the Doolin unit of the service as well as the Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115.
The Doolin Coast Guard boat raced to the scene, a short distance from their station, and found that both casualties had made it ashore close to where the Aille River enters the sea.
A Coast Guard team, which had travelled to the scene by road, met the casualties and transported them back to their base where a doctor was waiting to assess them. One kayaker was treated for the effects of the cold but was otherwise unharmed.
In the meantime, Rescue 115 was returning from a training mission off the west coast and was approaching Shannon Airport when the crew was tasked to the incident. The helicopter landed to refuel and had just taken off again to route to the scene when it was confirmed the casualties had made it ashore safely.
While the casualties were taken to the Coast Guard station, the boat team recovered the second kayak drifting towards nearby cliffs.
While conditions in the area were reported to be calm earlier, it’s understood the weather changed quickly and caught the kayakers off guard. Winds in the area were reported to be between force 5 and 6 in strength at the time of the incident.
Meanwhile, within minutes of landing back at Shannon Airport, Rescue 115 was tasked to another incident in Co Kerry but were once again stood down en route.