Lough Swilly Lifeboat was involved in a dramatic rescue operation this afternoon which helped save an adult and an eight-year-old.
Rescuers said that both were very fortunate to have survived the conditions. The Irish lifecrew have been hailed as heroes but with typical modesty they say that it was all in a day’s work.
The boat (pictured) launched this afternoon at 3pm to assist the kayakers, whose Kayaks had overturned, in the Portsalon area of Lough Swilly in County Donegal
The Kayaks had drifted out from the shoreline on strong winds and capsized in deep water. One of the kayakers made it ashore and raised the alarm, reporting that one adult and an 8 year old child were in the water and unable to get back to shore.
The Marine Rescue Centre based at Malin Head requested the launch of the Lough Swilly RNLI Inshore Atlantic 85 Lifeboat, who arrived on scene within 7 minutes.
The two persons in the water had drifted approximately half a mile from the shore by the time the Lifeboat found them and had been in the water for over 30 minutes. The young child was lying on the chest of the adult who was supporting both of them in the water.
Helmsman George O’Hagan said “we were extremely fortunate that we found them so fast, given the conditions at the time and swell it would have been exceptionally difficult to see them from a distance”.
They were poorly dressed in summer clothes which provided no protection from the elements and increased the risk of hypothermia. Both casualties were quickly brought ashore by the Lifeboat where they were passed into the care of the Ambulance Service, who then transferred the child to Letterkenny General Hospital for assessment.