Can’t bleat this: Rescue services mobilised over crying goat

Alarm raised after reports mistake wailing as shout for help on Hog Island off Co Clare

A bleating goat on an island off the west coast prompted a multi-agency search and rescue operation amid fears that someone was stranded or in difficulty.

The alarm was raised late on Tuesday night when people on the mainland at Cappa near Kilrush, Co Clare, reported hearing someone shouting for help from the area of Hog Island about a kilometre from shore.

Believing this was a cry for help, a call was made to the Emergency Call Answering Service.

Rescue helicopter

The Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry was alerted at about 9.00pm and a search and rescue operation was mounted.


The Kilrush RNLI lifeboat was launched while the Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard was also tasked. The Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter was requested to assist in the search while local gardaí­ also attended.

As the mission was getting under way it was established that the calls from the island were most likely those of a distressed goat separated from the main herd.

Kilrush Lifeboat press officer Charlie Glynn said: “In this instance, this call-out was a false alarm . . . but Kilrush RNLI would rather launch to a false alarm, rather than be called out too late to an emergency situation.”