A multi-agency search operation was mounted this afternoon after a person reported themselves to be in difficulty in the water near Portumna, at the northern end of Lough Derg.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry requested the volunteer Lough Derg lifeboat crew to the scene where it was reported that the person was clinging to a navigation marker southwest of Portumna.
At 4.22pm the lifeboat launched in near calm conditions with southerly winds Force 1-2. Visibility was also reported to be good en-route to the casualty’s location.
Given the serious risk to life, Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter was tasked from its base at Shannon Airport. Units of Portumna Fire and Rescue Service, National Ambulance Service crews and Gardaí made their way to New Quay a small harbour on the Galway shore.
As the RNLI lifeboat approached the scene, the crew was informed that Portumna Fire and Rescue crews, who had launched their dory, had located the casualty clinging to a navigation buoy. The woman was taken ashore where ambulance paramedics were waiting to assist.
The woman had been paddle-boarding and, after coming off her board, was unable to get back on. She said she was in the water for an hour and a half before she was eventually able to use her mobile phone to call the emergency services. She was located after she was able to identify landmarks visible on shore.
Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI Catherine Gleeson said: “We are glad of the positive outcome and that the person in the water had a means of calling for help. We would advise water users if they are going afloat, to go with a friend and if you are going out alone, always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.”