Dramatic cliff rescue at Dursey Sound, casualty winched to safety in rough conditions

The scene from the RNLI Castletownbere Lifeboat.

THE Castletownbere Lifeboat, Coastguard units, Shannon rescue helicopter and other emergency services were involved in a dramatic rescue on Sunday afternoon of a man who had become trapped on a ledge on the shore in the Dursey Sound.

The lifeboat, under command of Second Coxswain Paul Stevens, was launched within seven minutes of the alarm and arrived on scene 35 minutes later. The casualty was located at the bottom of a cliff on a narrow ledge and suspected to be suffering from hypothermia.

Given the dangerous three to four metre swell on the shoreline, the lifeboat was unable to launch its inflatable Y-boat. The Shannon based helicopter Rescue 115 was also on scene but unable to deploy a winchman given the adverse conditions.

Members of the Castletownbere Coastguard undertake the dramatic and perilous rescue at Dursey Sound.
Members of the Castletownbere Coastguard undertake the dramatic and perilous rescue at Dursey Sound.

The lifeboat was able to provide the Coastguard with details of the casualty’s location through radio contact.

The local Castletownbere Coastguard Unit finally lowered one of its team who was able to secure the casualty and both were brought up the cliff in a skilful manoeuvre.

On receiving a medical assessment from ambulance crew, he was transferred to Tralee General Hospital by helicopter.

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