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25/10/2021

Coast Guard officer thanks Donegal locals for assistance after angler airlifted to safety

Anglers advised to seek local knowledge before fishing in unfamiliar areas

Coast Guard officer thanks Donegal locals for assistance after angler airlifted to safety

A member of the public in Glencolmcille alerted the Coast Guard to the angler who had become cut off by the tide on an outcrop of rocks at Doonalt

A Donegal coast guard officer has thanked locals for their help in assisting in the rescue of an angler who was airlifted to safety after becoming cut off by the tide.

A member of the public in Glencolmcille alerted the Coast Guard to the angler who had become cut off by the tide on an outcrop of rocks at Doonalt on Tuesday night.

Malin Head Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre tasked Killybegs Coast Guard to the scene by the road at around 8.30pm.

Officer in charge of Killybegs Coast Guard Shane McCrudden said that once they arrived at the scene and after speaking to locals who had knowledge of the area, they realised there was concern for the angler’s safety.

“There was a bit of a swell up and while the tide had just turned, from local knowledge it would have been 2am or 3am before he could even have attempted to come back and even at that there would have been an element of danger.”

The location of the angler meant it was not safe for the Coast Guard to attempt a rescue by sea so the Coast Guard’s Sligo-based Rescue 118 was tasked to the scene at 9.15pm.

Mr McCrudden said it had not been possible to communicate with the angler, who is believed to be from outside the county, so he may not have been aware of the danger he was in until the helicopter arrived.

“He obviously  realised when the helicopter came on scene and he saw our vehicles on the shore that the helicopter was coming for him.”

The man was taken to Sligo University Hospital but did not require medical attention.

Mr McCrudden said the man was very lucky the danger he was in was spotted by locals.  He warned angler's not to take risks and to always wear a  life jacket or a personal floatation device when fishing from the shore.  It is important to acquire local knowledge when fishing in an unfamiliar area, he said.

He also thanked locals for raising the alarm and assisting by providing local knowledge to the Coast Guard unit.

“We relied heavily on locals. It was them that advised me about rocks that would be a danger to our Rib (rigid inflatable boat) and our crew. They said it was a no-go area for a boat so that is why it had to be a helicopter rescue. We always rely on local knowledge - it is key.”

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