Three kayakers have been saved in Waterford after rescuers carried out a “challenging manoeuvre” in choppy waters.
The kayakers were rescued on Wednesday afternoon after they got stranded on rocks at Kilmurrin Cove.
A sudden swell capsized one of the kayaks and the group were forced onto the rocks as conditions rapidly deteriorated, going from mild to challenging quite quickly.
A crew from the Helvick RNLI responded with the kayakers taking refuge on the sharp rocks in the worsening conditions.
The RNLI crew was joined on scene by Rescue 117, Bunmahon Coast Guard and Bunmahon Community Rescue Boat.
The winchman from Rescue 117 was able to descend from the helicopter onto the rocks and stay with the group as the lifeboat crew made the “difficult approach” to the rocks.
The RNLI said that with no shoreline or safe landing spot, the lifeboat Helm “performed a veering down manoeuvre which brought the lifeboat close to the rocks”.
A lifeboat crewmember swam to the rocks to assist the Rescue 117 winchman with the transfer of the casualties onto the lifeboat.
“In a highly precise and closely timed exercise, which relied on the crew taking note of the movement of the lifeboat into and away from the rocks, the three casualties were helped onboard the lifeboat and brought to the safety of the shore, where they were met by members of Bunmahon Coast Guard,” a statement added.
Helvick Head RNLI crewmember Joe Foley said the callout had a “great outcome” in “challenging” conditions.
“We were glad to see that they were all wearing buoyancy aids and had not sustained any injuries other than some scratches.
“The veering down manoeuvre which we carried out is something that we practice regularly in training, but every scenario is different, and it is challenging when dealing with multiple casualties and a moving lifeboat in choppy water.
“We have a great group of search and rescue agencies around here and we all work well together.”