Sailor rescued off Wicklow coast after being reported missing from container ship

Two people assisted at Lough Derg on the River Shannon after engine failure

The lifeboat, under the command of Nick Keogh and with five other crew members aboard, located the sailor just after 11pm. Photograph: Wicklow RNLI

The lifeboat, under the command of Nick Keogh and with five other crew members aboard, located the sailor just after 11pm. Photograph: Wicklow RNLI

 

A sailor was rescued by the Wicklow Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) on Sunday night after getting into difficulty about 26km off the Wicklow coast.

The lifeboat began an immediate search before 10.45pm on Sunday night after a sailor was reported missing from a container ship. The coast guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked to join the search.

The lifeboat, under the command of Nick Keogh and with five other crew members aboard, located the sailor just after 11pm approximately 8km northeast of the Codling Buoy.

The Rescue 116 paramedic winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to assess the sailor, before being winched onto the coast guard helicopter and airlifted to hospital in Dublin.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI crew member Nick Keogh said the sailor was located during a sector search and weather conditions in the area were “calm at the time with good visibility”.

In a separate incident on Sunday evening, two people were assisted by Lough Derg RNLI after an 18ft motor cruiser’s engine failed 2km north of Portumna Bridge above the Lough Derg on the River Shannon.

The lifeboat Jean Spier launched under four crew members at 6.40pm on Sunday evening. The lake was “flat and calm” with good visibility at the time.

The lifeboat arrived at 7pm, where the lock keeper was waiting to open the swing bridge.

Once on the river, the lifeboat saw a vessel under tow by a personal watercraft.

After establishing that this was the vessel which had called for help, and that both people on board were safe, unharmed and wearing their lifejackets, the lifeboat determined the cause of the engine failure.

The lifeboat took the tow from the personal watercraft, who returned north to his home harbour, and brought the motorboat to the Lough Derg side of Portumna Bridge.

The captain collected a kit to help fix the boat and the lifeboat returned to its station.

Jeremy Freeman, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advised water users to “plan your passage, ensure you have sufficient fuel for your journey and plan to arrive at safe harbour before nightfall”.

RNLI charity volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK, with 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. Since it was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,700 lives.