independent

Sunday 8 December 2019

Kite surfer suffers leg break during Storm Lorenzo

The kite surfer was airlifted from Our Lady’s Island
The kite surfer was airlifted from Our Lady’s Island

Pádraig Byrne

While Wexford may have largely escaped a battering at the hands of Storm Lorenzo last week, there was one casualty in Wexford.

On Thursday afternoon, a thrill-seeker who was out kite surfing on the lake at Our Lady's Island came down hard in the strong winds breaking his leg.

Emergency services flocked to the scene and the Irish Coast Guard's Sikorsky Rescue 117 helicopter was tasked to attend the scene from Waterford Airport to assist.

Having carried out an assessment, the decision was taken to airlift him to University Hospital Waterford for treatment.

It is reported that the man was an Irish and European kite surfing champion and was making use of the strong winds to film manoeuvres at the lake, which is an extremely popular spot for kite surfers.

While the man suffered a nasty leg break, he is expected to make a full recovery.

However, he has come in for some major criticism online, where he was accused of putting the lives of emergency services personnel in danger by taking to the water in a status yellow weather warning.

Local councillor and Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service Ger Carthy congratulated all agencies involved on the successful outcome.

'I'd congratulate the National Ambulance Service, the Coast Guard and the crew of the Rescue 117 helicopter on their quick work in hostile conditions,' he said.

'It could've been a difficult enough situation being called upon to transfer a casualty in the mouth of a weather warning, but these guys train hard and when they're called upon they can do the business. It's just a pity they were called out to something like this in a weather warning.'

'As always, it's great that we can rely on the assistance of the helicopter out of Waterford, when at one stage that looked like it could be in doubt.'

Wexford People

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