independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Kite surfer uses waterproof phone to call for help

Kite Surfer
Kite Surfer (stock image)

A WATERPROOF mobile phone helped a kite surfer raise the alarm after getting into difficulty in rough seas.

The incident occurred around 10.40am yesterday when the man got into difficulty while kitesurfing with friends about 150 metres from shore at Sandymount in Dublin.

He abandoned his equipment in an attempt to swim to safety, but was prevented from doing so by tidal conditions.

Fortunately he had a waterproof mobile phone and was able to call for help.

The Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination (MRCC) and RNLI Inshore lifeboat (ILB) were alerted, along with the Coast Guard unit from Dun Laoghaire.

"Heavy conditions" saw the lifeboat struggle amid operational limits before managing to pick up the casualty.

Due to the high risk of capsize, the casualty was taken on board the lifeboat. No medical treatment was needed.

"Despite the conditions, this rescue demonstrated the capabilities of this small, but highly effective, lifeboat and its crew," said Stephen Wynne, Lifeboat operations manager with Dun Laoghaire RNLI.

"Considerable skill is needed to avoid capsize while rescuing a casualty," he added.

And in another incident it was feared that a man had been swept off a harbour wall.

The incident happened just after 10am yesterday at the West Pier in Howth, Co Dublin, when the Coast Guard control received reports of a jogger suspected of being washed off the pier.

The Irish Coast Guard Helicopter and Howth RNLI lifeboats, along with a unit of Dublin Civil Defence and a full coast guard patrol team, carried out an extensive search amid gale force winds.

However, the search was stood down before noon after they got updated information and realised the call was a "false alarm -- with good intent".

It is understood a witness thought the jogger had been swept away, but in fact they had simply disappeared from view.

Irish Independent

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