Kayaker winched to safety by helicopter

TWO-HOUR RESCUE ORDEAL OFF HOOK

A KAYAKER was dramatically winched to safety off Hook Head yesterday (Tuesday) evening following a two-hour rescue ordeal.

The man, who has been named locally as Pat McGrath, is understood to have gotten into difficulty while out kayaking with his friend Wayne Fletcher, who made his way to shore at Baginbun and raised the alarm to rescue his stricken friend.

Fethard, Kilmore and Dunmore lifeboats were all launched and the Coastguard Helicopter was also mobilised to the scene around 3.15 p.m.

The search was focussed between Slade, where the two kayakers are believed to have set off from around 11 a.m. yesterday morning, and the Saltee Islands.

During the search, rescuers had to battle with waves measuring almost four meters off Hook Head as well as high westerly winds reaching 30 to 39 knots.

However, Pat McGrath and his kayak were spotted by the Coastguard helicopter at 5.20 p.m. and he was winched to safety five miles south east off Hook Head. He was brought by the helicopter to Waterford Regional Hospital, where he was understood yesterday evening to be fine.

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