The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat responded to two callouts in one mission last night.
Just after 9.50pm, the crew were tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard to a kayaker reported to be in difficulty off St John’s Point.
Within four minutes, the Bundoran lifeboat had launched and made its way across Donegal Bay as the sun was setting, to where the kayaker had been spotted by a person on the shore. Pulling up alongside the kayaker, the crew discovered the gentleman was fishing and there were no problems.
This incident was then classed as a “false alarm with good intent” and the crew prepared to make their way back to Bundoran.
As they did so, and as darkness was beginning to fall, the crew heard a mayday call over emergency channel 16. Around the same time, the lifeboat crew spotted what they thought was a white emergency flare in the direction of Mullaghmore Head and advised the Coast Guard who then tasked them to the scene to check it out.
Arriving on the scene approximately 20 minutes, later the crew found no sign of anybody in trouble: a member of the shore crew checked the area on land. The crew were directed remained at the schene until the Rescue 118 Search & Rescue helicopter from Sligo conducted an aerial search, after which they were stood down and returned to station around 11.20pm.
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat helm for Bundoran Iarla Carty said: “Fortunately the services of the lifeboat were not required on these two occasions. However we always advise people to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if they think they see someone in trouble at sea.
“We would always rather launch and check things out to make sure everything is okay.
“We are mindful in these good weather conditions that more and more people will be using the water and, following the news of all the tragedies during the week, we would encourage water users to be extra vigilant but to enjoy themselves at the same time.”
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