Tuesday 16 January 2018

Woman is saved after Wexford Harbour plunge

By David tucker

Wexford RNLI file photo
Wexford RNLI file photo

RESCUERS from Wexford Marinewatch and Wexford Lifeboat saved a woman from drowning in the town's harbour on Wednesday night.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Marinewatch volunteers, who were on patrol, were notified by a member of the public of a person acting in a suspicious manner near the river in the Ferrybank area.

By the time they arrived, the woman, who is in her late 20s, was in the water and being carried out by the fast-moving current. The Irish Coast Guard was contacted immediately, who paged the lifeboat crew - and a full-scale joint rescue operation swung into action. Within minutes the lifeboat crew were on the water and proceeded to the location, navigating through a gap in the training wall to save time.

The woman was kept under close observation by Marinewatch volunteers, who also attempted to communicate with her until the arrival of the Lifeboat - at which point their exact location in the water was then passed to the boat crew, enabling a swift recovery. She was around 150 yards from the shore when she was rescued.

Once on board, the woman was brought to the Lifeboat Station and treated for cold water shock, before being transferred to hospital by ambulance.

Speaking after the rescue Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick Bowie, who is also on the Management Team of MarineWatch said 'this is a testament to the joint training between the two voluntary services, who both were established after numerous suicides in the waters of Wexford. The lifeboat was able to navigate straight to the casualty as MarineWatch kept a constant visual'.

The Irish Coast Guard operator, who also played a key role in coordinating the rescue, afterwards commended both groups on their teamwork and quick response.

Chairman and Founder of Wexford Marinewatch Frank Flanagan said, 'this is hard evidence that the ongoing training we do with the crew of Wexford Lifeboat pays dividends in a real-life scenario and this rescue showed how both services go hand in hand. The Volunteers of both organisations are trained to a very high standard and are to be commended for their actions'.

If you see someone if difficulty in or near the water, dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard. This is the quickest way to get the emergency services on scene. The Wexford Lifeboat crew were Philip Hatton, Martin Conway, Marchin Masimuik and Marinewatch Crew: George Lawlor, Linda Whitty, Stephen Shakeshaft, Matthias Kausch & Ashley Houghton.

Since Wexford Marinewatch was formed more than two years ago, no lives have been lost to suicide in the harbour.

Wexford People

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