Clifden RNLI rescue eight people as 'weather turned' during journey back to shore

Clifden RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and Mersey class all weather lifeboat last night to reports of a pleasure boat in difficulty east of Davillaun Island with eight people onboard.

The weather conditions worsened and the group were cold and exhausted. All were brought safely to shore with one person being taken to hospital for further treatment.

Clifden RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard at 6.58pm to assist the broken down pleasure craft.

The eight people onboard had been to Inishboffin island for the day and were returning home when the weather turned, becoming wet and foggy.

As the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene the Helm came alongside the pleasure craft and the group appeared to be cold and exhausted. A volunteer crewmember boarded the boat to assist the casualties and to secure a tow line. Four of the casualties were then transferred onto the lifeboat where they received casualty care while the remaining four people stayed onboard the broken down vessel with the lifeboat crewmember. The lifeboat then took the vessel under tow towards Aughris pier, over an hour away.

When the All-Weather lifeboat arrived on scene all eight casualties were put on board and taken inside to warm up. There they were given some hot soup and further assessed. Meanwhile the lifeboat crew on the Atlantic 85 continued to tow the casualty vessel.

On the return journey to Aughris pier the all-weather lifeboat crew requested, via Malin Head Coast Guard radio, for a HSE ambulance to meet them at the pier as one of the group required medical attention.

The casualty was assessed by paramedics and transferred to hospital for further treatment. The remaining seven people disembarked the lifeboat at the pier.

"This callout shows how conditions can change quite quickly at sea. Visibility became poor as the weather deteriorated. Thankfully we have a fast responding Atlantic 85 lifeboat and a well-trained crew. Having the all-weather lifeboat provide cover was invaluable, providing warmth and comfort for the casualties," said Clifden RNLI lifeboat helm Daniel Whelan.

"Safety at sea is so important. Wear plenty of layers. Tell someone your plan and bring a suitable form of communication. The group in trouble did all of this which made it much easier to locate them."

Clifden RNLI Coxswain David Barry also commented: "This was a very successful callout with both lifeboat crew working well together to bring the casualties to safety. It was a beautiful day but the weather turned as the evening approached. We wish the patient a speedy recovery."

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