The alarm was raised early yesterday when locals spotted a man in difficulty at the base of steep cliffs at Sandy Cove, near Castletownshend, in West Cork.
The national ambulance service arrived at the scene and contacted Valentia Marine Rescue Sub Centre at 9.42am for assistance, while a paramedic began treating the casualty on scene.
Valentia immediately tasked Toe Head Coast Guard unit, which specialises in cliff and coastal rescues, and the Shannon-based coastguard rescue helicopter Rescue 115.
Members of the Toe Head unit were on the scene within 10-minutes and mounted a rescue operation.
The helicopter arrived at the scene at 10am and after the crew consulted with the Toe Head unit, a decision was taken to airlift the casualty from the shore.
He was stabilised for transport, and was winched on board at 11.15am and was flown to Cork Airport, where an ambulance was waiting to transfer him to CUH.
A spokesman for Valentia coastguard said the man, who it’s believed may be living in the Skibbereen area, was treated for hypothermia on route.
“We were very fortunate to have a specialist cliff rescue team close by,” he said.
The Toe Head unit, which trains regularly on the many cliffs in the area, had spent a day training in the Sandy Cove area just over a fortnight ago. It was not clear how the man got into difficulty.
There is a popular cliff walk in the area and locals said that after days of heavy rain, underfoot conditions on the cliff top path may have become unstable.
Meanwhile, a seriously ill fisherman, 30, was airlifted to hospital from a fishing trawler off the Co Clare coast yesterday. The alarm was raised at 9.45am when the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry were contacted by a doctor on the Aran Islands.
It is understood the doctor had been contacted by the crew of the Arkh Angell which was fishing about 40km west of Hags Head at the time. A man on board the Irish-registered trawler was reported to have been suffering from abdominal pains and was airlifted to University Hospital Galway for treatment.
It’s understood he is a foreigner.