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Lifeboat crew risks all to save kitesurfer

A LIFEBOAT crew came to the rescue of an experienced kitesurfer who got into difficulty yesterday.

The man had been kitesurfing off Sandymount, Co Dublin, prior to being rescued by the Dun Laoghaire inshore lifeboat operating at extreme weather limits.

He had been with friends about 150 metres from the shore in breaking surf when he experienced difficulties at around 10.40am.

The man abandoned his equipment in an attempt to swim to safety but was prevented from doing so by the tidal conditions.

The alarm was raised by the man on his waterproof mobile phone off Sandy-mount beach. Shortly after launching at 10.50am, the RNLI inshore lifeboat with three volunteer crew members experienced heavy conditions at the harbour entrance due to the 25-knot (46km) south-easterly winds and building seas, the operational limits for this type of lifeboat.

However, it continued and again encountered breaking surf along the shore from Blackrock to Sandymount before reaching the man's position which had been located by the coast guard unit in a shore search.

TREATMENT

Due to the risk of capsize, he was taken on board the lifeboat which returned to Dun Laoghaire before noon. The man did not require medical treatment.

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

Also yesterday, a search was called off for a jogger who was believed to have been swept into the harbour at Howth. Air and sea rescue teams were launched when a concerned member of the public feared the man had gone off the west pier.

A coast guard spokesman said that nothing was found during the search and crews were satisfied that the jogger left the pier safely after speaking to other people.

fdillon@herald.ie


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