Stranded kayaker climbs up cliff face to safety at Old Head of Kinsale golf course

Golfers on the course above spotted the kayaker in difficulty and raised the alarm
Stranded kayaker climbs up cliff face to safety at Old Head of Kinsale golf course

It is understood that strong winds and swells led the man into difficulty in the waters below the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course. File picture: Larry Cummins

A stranded kayaker managed to scale the cliff face below the 16th hole of Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course after getting into difficulty off the headland this afternoon.

Golfers on the course above spotted the kayaker and raised the alarm at about 3.15pm. 

The Courtmacsherry RNLI all Weather Lifeboat 'Frederick Storey Cockburn' launched within minutes and raced to the kayaker's last known location on the western side of the Old Head.

It is understood that strong winds and swells led the man into difficulty.

Given the unfavourable conditions, Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 117 was also tasked to the scene. 

The Kinsale RNLI lifeboat, the Old Head/Seven Heads Coastguard Unit, and naval vessels on patrol nearby also responded to the emergency call.

When Rescue 117 and the lifeboats arrived in the vicinity about 20 minutes after the initial callout, they found the stricken kayaker blown onto the rocks below the prestigious golf course.

Luckily, and under the supervision of the responders, the man was able to climb the cliff face up to the 16th green, where he was assessed by emergency services personnel a short time later.

The lifeboats then recovered the kayak from the water.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew on Wednesday afternoon were coxswain Mark John Gannon, duty mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Conor Dullea and Paul McCarthy.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew on Wednesday afternoon were coxswain Mark John Gannon, duty mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Conor Dullea and Paul McCarthy.

Courtmacsherry RNLI duty launch authority Philip White commended the rapid response of all involved. 

“It was great to see the quick reaction of all our volunteers this afternoon who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to have the lifeboat under way in minutes, to help someone in distress," he said. 

Mr White also praised the golfers who spotted the kayaker for "alerting the rescue agencies quickly by ringing 999 or 112".

He said a fast response to incidents like this were crucial, particularly if the person involved might not have been physically able to climb the rock-face to safety.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew on Wednesday afternoon were coxswain Mark John Gannon, duty mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Conor Dullea and Paul McCarthy.

It has been a busy week at the Lifeboat Station in Courtmacsherry. The team has received three callouts over the past seven days.

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