Female member of Irish Coast Guard tragically dies after search operation

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A female member of an Irish Coast Guard crew has died after their vessel overturned during a search operation.

The tragic accident happened in Kilkee, Co Clare this afternoon.

The Coast Guard crew consisted of three members involved in a search-and-rescue operation for a man missing from Lisseycasey, a village in Co Clare.

During the operation, the crew's rigid inflatable boat (RIB) was turned over in a vicious swell near cliffs at Kilkee.

The woman was removed from the water by a rescue team after the boat capsized.

She was taken to hospital but pronounced dead this afternoon.

"This is a black day for us. These are volunteers who risk their lives everyday to save others. This woman was a hero," one Coast Guard member said.

Two other members of the Coast Guard were also dislodged from the boat.

Another woman was rescued from the water and brought to University Hospital Limerick, where she is in a stable condition.

A male colleague was trapped in a cave area for a number of hours before being rescued this evening.

He is said to be doing well, after earlier cliff and cave rescues were hampered by rough seas and strong winds.

He was rescued this evening by the Shannon Rescue 115 helicopter at approximately 5.30pm, and has been airlifted to UHL.

Manuel Dilucia, founder of the Kilkee Marine Rescue, told earlier: "He is in there, been there for approximately four hours.

"He is sitting on a ledge waiting to be saved."

The crew from Kilkee Marine Rescue were taking part in a search-and-rescue operation for a man missing from the local area for a number of days.

Their rigid inflatable boat (RIB) overturned shortly after 1pm when it hit a heavy swell near the cliffs at Kilkee.

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