Press "Enter" to skip to content

Paddleboarding cousins survive 15 HOURS at sea by clinging on to buoy 17 miles off Irish coast

TWO paddleboarders survived 15 hours sea by clinging onto a buoy off the Irish coast.

The cousins, aged 17 and 23, sparked a frantic search after drifting 17 miles out to sea.

Two fishermen spotted the pair bobbing in the water after a desperate hunt through the night along the Galway coast.

Patrick Oliver, the fisherman who rescued the pair, said his son Morgan, 18, spotted the women clinging onto a lobster pot.

“I’d say they hung on to one another throughout the night which would be the best thing to do,” he said.

Describing the moment Patrick spotted them with Morgan, he said: “They were good. They were waving their paddles up in the air.

“They had us spotted, well they were waving anyway and then we came alongside.

“They are weak and tired of course but they were sitting up and a little bit of chat out of them.

“We got them in the boat and we brought them into the island and the chopper landed there.

“They were fairly shook but they were thankful.”

Barry Heskin of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) told RTÉ’s News at One that it was a “truly fantastic result” after the gruelling overnight search.

He said: “We were jumping around the station and there were a few tears shed”.

John Draper, Valentia-based divisional controller, said the women were very lucky to be alive, thanks to their inflatable boards that kept them afloat.

The sea temperature was reportedly 15C but if they had been immersed in the water, the outcome could’ve been different.

“It’s a long way off, it’s an inflatable paddle board so I suppose the wind-driven current would have pushed it further and quicker in that respect,” he said.

“I think the fact that they were above on the surfboard certainly helped a lot. 

“Cold water immersion over that period of time, if you’re just in your swimming togs with a life preserver on, the survival chart would say maybe 12 to 14 hours and then you may double your search effort, double the time so you would be looking at 24 hours. “

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton praised the response of the Irish Coast Guard, the police and local volunteers for their swift response.

“Their quick thinking and bravery have resulted in the safe return of two young ladies to their families today,” the Galway TD said.

“The appreciation of the work of our emergency services can be heard in the shared sigh of relief not just across Galway, but indeed nationwide, as the good news reached us this afternoon.

“Thankfully this most recent event has had a happy ending; however, it is imperative for us all to be vigilant of the sea and the elements as we enjoy our coastline during the fine weather.”

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *