14 Germans rescued in Lough Corrib accident

 

Fourteen German youths holidaying in Cong, Co Mayo, had a lucky escape yesterday after their kayaks overturned in rough water on Lough Corrib.

The group were dragged from the water by a local man, Mr Tony Alton, at 4 p.m. yesterday.

Mr Alton was in his 30ft cruiser when he came across the youths clinging to four overturned kayaks and a dinghy, a mile from Cong.

"Conditions on the water were very rough at the time. Large waves had overturned the kayaks and the dinghy," he said.

The youths are part of a group from Dusseldorf and Cologne, staying at the youth hostel in Cong.

Mr Kristoph Classen (18), from Cologne, said the group was extremely grateful to Mr Alton.

"The waves were higher and stronger then we had anticipated. We are all good swimmers and were all wearing lifejackets when the boats capsized." Mr Alton managed to haul all 14 young people on to his vessel, the Hyundia, and brought them to Cleenilliun island to dry off. "I'm thankful that I might have saved the youngsters from this potential catastrophe," Mr Alton said.

The group returned safely to Lisloughrey Quay in Cong just before 7 p.m. yesterday. Gardai are now investigating the incident.