Updated: 20/03/17 : 05:36:28
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Sligo Bay RNLI rescues eight from capsized boat

Two men were rushed to hospital yesterday, one in a serious condition, after eight members of a sub-aqua club were rescued from a capsized boat off the Sligo coast.

The incident occurred off Aughris Pier, a popular coastal spot, near Screen, east of Sligo town.

A mayday call was received by Malin Head Coast Guard at 11.24am on Sunday. Fortunately, the Sligo Bay RNLI lifeboat crew were on a training exercise in the area and arrived at the scene of the incident at 11.43am.

The lifeboat crew rescued all eight people from the water and one man, in his 40s, was airlifted to Sligo University Hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118. He is understood to have been treated for a suspected cardiac problem and is in a 'serious' but stable condition.

The remaining seven men were taken to Aughris Pier where one person was taken by ambulance to hospital after suffering a head injury. Following the rescue, the lifeboat crew returned to the scene to tow the vessel back to the pier.

The other six did not need hospitalisation.


Rescue 118 was called off from the search at Blacksod Bay, Co Mayo for the missing crew members of Rescue 116, the Sikorsky helicopter which crashed into the sea on Tuesday morning.

  The Sligo Bay RNLI lifeboat crew at Aughris Pier yesterday. Photo: Linda Byrne/ Sligo RNLI Facebook

The Killala Coast Guard Unit, the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat, the Sligo Bay lifeboat and Rescue 118 helicopter were deployed to the area.

All the men, who are all believed to be experienced divers, were recovered from the water by noon.

Sligo Bay RNLI lifeboat operations manager Willie Murphy said the incident happened at the end of a difficult week for the rescue services following the loss of Rescue 116.

Following the rescue he said: “This morning’s callout shows that the professionalism and dedication of the search and rescue community remains unchanged.

“The RNLI crew at Sligo Bay along with their colleagues at Rescue 118 were on scene minutes after the call for help was raised and rescued eight people from the water. Our thoughts are with the man who was airlifted to hospital and with our colleagues still searching in Blacksod Bay for the three missing crew members of Rescue 116.”

                   The upturned boat at Aughris Pier. Photo: Linda Byrne/ Sligo RNLI Facebook