Sunday 20 January 2019

Four divers found clinging to boat

FOUR divers were found alive early today after clinging to their upturned boat for hours.

The four men were spotted by a rescue helicopter off Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford at 5.15 this morning.

The chopper, a Coast Guard Sikorsky S61, which is based at Waterford Airport, winched the tired and exhausted men on board.

"They were flown to their base at Waterford where an ambulance was waiting to take them to hospital," a Coast Guard spokesman said.

A massive rescue operation was launched just before midnight after the men's rigid inflatable boat was reported overdue.

The four, from Wexford Sub-Aqua Club, had gone out to dive off Kilmore Quay when the alarm was raised.

The rescue helicopter, four lifeboats and five Coast Guard ground search units were all involved in the search for the men.


"They were reported overdue and there was no communications from them," a Coast Guard spokesman said.

"We couldn't raise them on VHF and grew very concerned about them."

This morning, their upturned RIB was found about a quarter of a mile off a local point and the men were spotted.

All the men are expected to make a full recovery after their ordeal.

The fact they were wearing wetsuits probably saved their lives in the bitterly cold and unseasonable conditions off the coast last night, said rescue experts.


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