Two women survive 15 hours in the water in Galway Bay

14 Août, 2020, 08:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The Irish Coast Guard assisted in the rescue

Following a major search and rescue operation on Galway Bay overnight and this morning two women have been found safe and well off Inis Oir after spending 15 hours out at sea.

Divisional Controller at Valentia Coastguard John Draper said that the fact they were keeping afloat on their paddle boards was a factor in their survival: "It could have been a different story if they had been immersed in water all night". Two further Coast Guard Rescue helicopters from Sligo and Waterford joined this morning, along with Coast Guard lifeboats from Oranmore/Maree, Cashla Bay and Doolin while the Civil Defence carried out a search along the north shore co-ordinated by the Gardai.

The paddle boarders, aged 17 and 23, were found clinging to a lobster pot by a local fisherman and his son near Inisheer island. They had drifted nearly 20 miles from where they had originally set off.

He also said he was "delighted for their parents" and he had thought about their "poor mother on the beach all night looking out for them".

"We estimated that overnight they were about 15 hours in the water".

"So at two knots we were saying that's probably 30 miles travelling and were aiming for 30 miles".

"I'd say they hung on together throughout the night which was the best thing to do, so they didn't separate".

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"They were there, they were sitting up on their boards waving their paddles".

"And when they came across the buoy early this morning, they held on to that".

"We got them inside, got them to sit down on the wheelhouse floor there just for a bit of comfort because it was still a bit choppy".

Once safely in the boat, named Johnny O, the women were brought to a nearby island, where a helicopter flew them to hospital.

"Anyone that goes missing, there's always a few phone calls made and everyone is up and gone", added Mr Oliver.

"It's not really a set thing - maybe every few weeks, maybe a few months".

"If it doesn't change, you're just going to keep going".

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