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boat capsized Man rescued from sea after ten hours in water owes life to 'unusually warm water'

A multi-agency rescue mission was launched yesterday off the coast of Dundalk when the man’s wife raised the alarm after he failed to return home yesterday afternoon

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Coast Guard helicopter (PA)

Coast Guard helicopter (PA)

Coast Guard helicopter (PA)

A man who spent ten hours in the sea after his inflatable boat capsized owes his life to a flotation device he was wearing and the fact that the water around the coast is unusually warm, the Coast Guard has said.

A multi-agency rescue mission was launched yesterday off the coast of Dundalk when the man’s wife raised the alarm after he failed to return home yesterday afternoon.

The man had departed Newry at around 11am with the intention of launching his inflatable boat at Ballagan Point in Greenore in Co Louth about a half hour drive away.

He was seen around lunchtime in the boat but his wife became concerned when he did not return home so she contacted the emergency services.

Gardai contacted the Coast Guard at around 9.45pm last night and the man’s car was found parked at Whitestown beach close to Ballagan beach in Dundalk.

The Coast Guard sent a land-based unit out to sweep the coast, and shouts were heard from the water at around 10.10pm so the rescue helicopter 116 was sent from Dublin and the Kilkeel lifeboat from Belfast to search the waters.

The pilot boat Mourne Mist was also tasked to search the seas in the area.

A local man in Whitestown who became aware of the search brought his kayak to the scene and searched the area where the shouting had been heard, and managed to locate the man in the water.

He brought him to the Mourne Mist pilot boat who transferred him to the Kilkeel lifeboat, whose crew assessed him and found him to be mildly hypothermic and tired, and in need of medical attention.

At 10.35pm he was winched from the lifeboat by rescue helicopter 116 and brought to Beaumont hospital in Dublin for treatment.

It is expected the man will make a full recovery.

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A Coast Guard spokesman said the man owes his life to the fact that he was wearing a floatation device. “The fact that the waters are warmer at this time of year will have helped too if he was in the sea for hours,” he added.

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