Derrynane Inshore Rescue


23/08/2015 – Angler in distress
By: Mikey Martin
Sep 16, 2015

Derrynane Inshore rescue was involved in a very successful multi agency response to a person in the water in the Dursey Sound, which is a very dangerous place with extremely strong currents.

DIR was paged at 12.35 by Valentia MRSC, due to the severity of the call out the crew got to the station as soon as possible. Due to continuous training and good procedures DIR was mobile in the water at 12.53, a very good deployment time of 18 minutes. Travelling at 40 knots across the Kenmare Bay in rough conditions we were hoping this man would keep going until we got there. We were unaware at this point the man had a lifejacket on and as a result we did not know if he was still alive.

Castletownbere Coast Guard and HSE Ambulance

Castletownbere Coast Guard and HSE Ambulance

We arrived on scene at 13.11 and started the search for the casualty. DIR found the extremely tired man clinging to a buoy in the middle of the sound drifting out to sea. He was brought aboard and medically assessed. The casualty was in a state of shock and suffering from Hypothermia.

Castletownbere RNLI was on scene seconds later followed by Castletownbere coast guard. We brought him to eastern pier where he was administered first aid until the Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 115 landed shortly after with a paramedic followed by a HSE ambulance. He was flown in the rescue helicopter to Cork University Hospital.


Rescue 115 landing in a near-by field. Its incredible what this helicopter can do. The Pilots, Winch Operator and Winch man are extremely skilled and professional. A welcome sight on any rescue!!

The man was fishing on the rocks with his daughter. He was positioned 6 feet above the water line, a freak wave came along and pulled him into the water. His daughter contacted 999 and alerted them. The man was fully clothed but luckily he had a lifejacket on. If he didn’t  have a lifejacket on he WOULD have drowned. It is as simple as that! Colm (the person in the water) was in a very bad way in the water. He was struggling to breath as the water was splashing over his lifejacket and into his mouth. He was struggling to get air in and keep the water out.

The Units involved today were:

– Derrynane Inshore Rescue

– Castletownbere RNLI

– Castletownbere Coast Guard Shore and Boat units

– Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter Rescue 115

– HSE Ambulance Service

All units worked together seamlessly which culminated in a successful rescue.

The next day we received a call from Colm Plunkett, the man we rescued. He wished to visit the station and meet the men who saved his life. Colm visited the station at 20.00 on Monday and was welcomed by the crew who travelled across to the Dursey sound to rescue him. Colm was extremely thankful. He re- lived the situation to the crew in graphic detail. The fact Colm took the time to come and visit us was very special. A lot of the time we do not meet the people we rescue or receive no thanks. The crew really appreciated Colm’s visit, it reminded them that the work they do really does save lives.

This callout really does show how important lifejackets are, this man would not be at home with his family if he didn’t have one on. Please wear lifejackets when you are on and around the water. This includes fishing on rocks. Lifejacket have come down in price dramatically over the past few years. They are not uncomfortable and do not interfere with your activity. Theres is no excuse not to wear one. If you are an angler who fishes on or around the sea please buy a lifejacket immediately at the very least. Consider buying one with a spray hood and consider buying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Here is a link to Colm on Radio Kerry talking about the rescue and the appropriate safety equipment needed. Click Here

Derrynane Inshore Rescue Crew:

  1. Jerry Clifford (Helm)
  2. Mikey Martin (Comms)
  3. Jonathon Hughes (Crew)
  4. Richard Frewin (Crew)
Colm Plunkett with wife visiting the Derrynane Inshore Crew. L-R David O Mahony (Secretary), Jerry Clifford (Helm), Richard Frewin (Crew), Jonathon Hughes(crew), Mikey Martin (crew).

Colm Plunkett with wife visiting the Derrynane Inshore Crew.
L-R Colm’s Wife, Colm Plunkett, David O Mahony (Secretary), Jerry Clifford (Helm), Richard Frewin (Crew), Jonathon Hughes(crew), Mikey Martin (crew).


Derrynane Inshore Rescue is a voluntary organisation. We depend on the donations from the general public. Please donate on this website to insure this vital service is available to the next person who may need our assistance. Donate Here.