'long night' | 

Man (40s) trapped in sea cave in Co Mayo has been rescued

Gardaí and emergency services remained at the scene of the ongoing operation in the Downpatrick Head area.

Rescuers are monitoring the situation at the scene. Stock image

Eavan Murray, Seoirse Mulgrew and Tom ShielIndependent.ie

A man (40s) trapped in a sea cave in Co Mayo since yesterday has been rescued this afternoon, after a major operation swung into operation.

The man has been brought from the cave where he has been since yesterday.

He had earlier been described as being “in good spirits” as the major rescue operation got underway.

Gardaí and emergency services remained at the scene of the ongoing operation in the Downpatrick Head area.

Rescuers had been hopeful that a low tide around mid-afternoon will enable them to safely extricate the man who has been trapped overnight in a sea cave close to Downpatrick Head in north Mayo.

Rescue teams, which include members of the Irish Cave Rescue unit, were standing by to attempt the rescue when the tide will be at its lowest.

Speaking earlier today sundayworld.com prior to the rescue, Michael Hurst, Ballyglass Coastguard said: “It has been a long night for him.

“He is in good spirits. The lifeboats are doing a check on him every half an hour.

“They call into him, and he is able to acknowledge they are there and is able to move his arms and legs.

“He is high up. He is about three metres up in the cave so he is dry. He is very lucky.

“But it’s a case of he is so close, but yet so far. We have to ensure the safety of everyone.

“He was with a female partner, and from what we know they were kayaking in the area and decided in low water to walk around the cliffs.

“On very low water you can walk around the cliffs and people often get photos there.

“It was just a freak wave.

“He is an experienced cave rescuer himself, he knows the area and the conditions. They just got caught in a freak wave.

“There were kayakers there who managed to grab her but unfortunately, he was pushing into the cave and was unable to come out.

“A lot of his colleagues are there now assisting with the rescue.”

A number of Coast Guard Units were at the scene along with the RNLI Lifeboat from Ballyglass, the Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter from Sligo, Mayo County Fire Service, Civil Defence and Irish Cave Rescue.

A spokesperson for Malin Head Coast Guard said it was tasked to the scene.

A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard said the situation has been ongoing since it received an initial alert on Saturday afternoon.

“The rescue coordination sub centre at Malin Head is currently coordinating in collaboration with the other emergency services a rescue operation for a male trapped within a cave at Downpatrick Head on the North Mayo coast,” the spokesperson said.

Garda Superintendent Gabriel Moran explained at the rescue scene earlier today that the pair got into difficulties when they were swept off a ledge by a wave surge last evening.

“The male managed to get onto a ledge where he has remained overnight.

“We have been able to maintain contact with him overnight and throughout this morning.


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