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frightening ordeal Stranded kayaker is plucked from the sea off Old Head of Kinsale after golfers raise the alarm

'Unfortunately, the kayak could not be recovered and all his belongings including mobile phone and keys were left to the mercy of the sea'

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The crew of the the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat at the centre of the rescue drama

The crew of the the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat at the centre of the rescue drama

The crew of the the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat at the centre of the rescue drama

A kayaker in his 50s has been rescued by Courtmacsherry RNLI after he was spotted in difficulty in the water by four golfers playing on the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course.

The man, who has been reported to be from Charleville in north Cork, had been unable to get back into the boat after he was tossed from his kayak although he did manage to swim into a rock inlet.

The golfers raised the alarm by contacting the emergency services and the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre on Valentia Island.

Valentia tasked the Courtmacsherry All Weather RNLI Lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn to attend under Coxswain, Mark John Gannon and his crew.

Also tasked in the callout was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford and the Old Head / Seven Heads Coast Guard unit shortly before 6pm.

According to Courtmacsherry Harbour Lifeboat’s Facebook page, Coxswain Gannon and his crew of six were away quickly from their moorings, after golfers on the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Links saw a person in trouble near the rocks on the western side of the Lighthouse.

“The kayaker had left the Speckled Door pier earlier in the afternoon and came through the passage at Hole-Open,” they reported.

“He was attempting to round the Lighthouse when the weather worsened and he was thrown off the kayak and was unable to re mount because of high swells.

“Thankfully the golfers immediately called the rescue services and the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat and its voluntary crew were away within minutes.

“Reaching the area at 6.14pm, two members of the crew, Ken Cashman and Donal Young used the lifeboat’s small inflatable boat to traverse into the rocky inlet under the Lighthouse and pluck the causality from the water.

“He was brought back to the main lifeboat where he was assessed and warmed up after a very frightening ordeal. Unfortunately, the kayak could not be recovered and all his belongings including mobile phone and keys were left to the mercy of the sea.”

The lifeboat crews reported that conditions at sea included four-metre swells and a strong westerly wind. The casualty was then brought by the lifeboat to the safe surrounds of the Courtmacsherry Pontoon where he was “mighty glad to be on safe land again”.

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He was further assessed at the station house and provided with a change of clothes and hot drinks before officers were able to take him back to meet his friends who came from North Cork to meet him.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer said: “We are all so relieved that the kayaker was rescued so quickly in tough seas off the Old Head this evening.”

He also praised the golfers on the Old Head for making that quick 999 call when they realised something was amiss, as well as the voluntary crew at the Lifeboat Station who quickly assembled and “with great skill that they regularly train for, prevented a very serious incident at sea this evening”.

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