Stranded paddle boarder clung to buoy near Portumna before rescue

Sample some heartwarming soup for the RNLI

A woman clinging to a navigation buoy in the waters of Lough Derg near Portumna was recused by emergency crews this week.

On Wednesday last multiple agencies responded to help a paddle-boarder in difficulty in the water southwest of Portumna.

Shortly after 4pm the RNLI Lough Derg Lifeboat was launched to reports of a person clinging to a navigation marker near Portumna in the lake.

The lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The lake was near calm with southerly winds Force 1-2. Visibility was good en-route to the casualty’s location.

With the seriousness of the situation, and the inherent risk to life, Rescue 115 was also launched from its helicopter base at Shannon, and local emergency crews also made their way to the small harbour.

It was the Portumna Fire and Rescue crew who first reached the stranded person, using their dory.

The woman was taken ashore where an ambulance and crew were waiting to assist. She had been paddle-boarding and, after coming off her board, was unable to get back on.

She said she was in the water for an hour and a half before she was eventually able to use her mobile phone to call the emergency services.She was located after being able to identify landmarks visible on shore.

Catherine Gleeson, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI said she was “glad of the positive outcome and that the person in the water had a means of calling for help”.

She advises water users if they are going afloat, to “go with a friend and if you are going out alone, always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back”.