Thursday 23 February 2017

Kayaker rescued by off-duty search team

Mark Kennedy

A canoeist who got trapped in fast-flowing rapids was saved by an off-duty search and rescue team en route to a training exercise.

Three members of a search and rescue team from Co Cork happened to be passing by a deserted stretch of the Sally Gap in Co Wicklow on Saturday afternoon when they got caught up in the real-life rescue drama.

A canoeist in his 20s from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, had become trapped in his kayak after it got lodged in the fork of a tree stump in a section of rapids at Annalecka Brook.

His companions were unaware that he had got into difficulty and were about a quarter of a mile ahead of him until they saw his paddle float past.

One of the canoeists ventured back to help his companion while another scrambled onto a road to summon help.

It was pure luck that the rescue team, consisting of Mick McCarthy, Paul Ramsell and Glen Barton, happened to be passing by.

Mr McCarthy, who has been part of a volunteer rescue team since 1987, said they were happy to help.

"We always keep our eyes open when we are travelling and because we are involved in search and rescue our senses are always heightened."

Irish Independent

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