Fisherman swam 2.4km before dramatic rescue

Fri, May 18, 2012, 01:00

A fisherman was dramatically rescued from waters off the west Cork coast yesterday after he was swept from his fishing boat in rough seas.

The fisherman swam 2.4 km (1.5 miles) and clambered onto the rocks of a small island known as Seal Rock at the mouth of Glandore harbour.

He was spotted waving his life jacket in the air on the jagged island rocks by a passerby, who raised the alarm at about 2pm.

Crews from the Toe Head Coast Guard immediately launched from Castletownshend and went to assist the stricken fisherman.

They managed to steer their D class rescue vessel close enough to land a Coast Guard volunteer on the rocks to reach the fisherman, who is thought to be in his late 30s.

He was winched to safety by the Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter and taken to Cork University Hospital. Though slightly hypothermic, it is understood the fisherman was uninjured.

“The seas were rough out there but thankfully he was a strong swimmer and managed to reach safety,” Toe Head Coast Guard spokesman Richard Hurley said.

The same crews were involved in the rescue of the sole survivor of the sinking of the fishing boat Tit Bonhomme at nearby Adam Island last January.

Coast Guard crews later located the fisherman’s 10m vessel, which had drifted westward and run aground at an isolated point near Toe Head.

“He is lucky he was spotted because where the boat ran aground, between a cleft in the rocks, it would have been very difficult to spot,” Mr Hurley said.