Missing windsurfer at sea for seven hours before reaching land

Rescue services mobilised in search for water sport enthusiast who travelled almost 50km

A windsurfer who got into trouble off the west coast travelled almost 50km with the wind and current by sea before coming ashore.

Two lifeboats from Fenit and Kilrush (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) RNLI along with Rescue 115 helicopter from Shannon and Irish naval vessel Le Niamh were also tasked with rescuing the windsurfer who was reported missing on Sunday evening at 4pm.

He had last been seen off Ballybunion in Co Kerry. Fenit RNLI launched its all-weather lifeboat at 5.34pm following initial reports from the Irish Coast Guard that there was a person reported overboard off the Ballybunion coast in Co Kerry.

In hospital

The man eventually made it ashore at Kilkee in Co Clare, some 46km (25 nautical miles) and seven hours after he went missing.


He managed to raise the alarm and was eventually transferred by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick.

Kilrush RNLI crew member Charlie Glynn said personnel are “delighted that . . . this man is alive. While we don’t have the details from the casualty’s perspective, he had to have been an experienced windsurfer who was wearing the correct clothing and gear and knew what to do when he got into difficulty.

“ He stayed with his board and managed somehow to travel the long distance to shore. All in the RNLI wish him well for a full and speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for him.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times