A former Crosshaven RNLI crew member has been praised for his seamanship and first aid skills after bringing two men found 1.5 miles from shore and without lifejackets to safety.
Aengus O’Donovan was returning to Crosshaven in his trawler on Tuesday afternoon when he spotted two young men in what was described as a supermarket inflatable boat approximately 1 mile south of the Daunt Rock buoy and about 1.5 miles from the shore having lost one of their paddles.
The wind was blowing offshore at the time.
According to a post on the Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat Station facebook page, Aengus and his crewmate, Mathew Byrne, "retrieved the two hypothermic casualties to his boat", wrapped them up in the wheelhouse and made for Crosshaven RNLI station where the Deputy LMA Dr Larrie Martin and three of the first responders, Alan Venner, Georgia Keating and Jenna O’Shea took control and treated the two men in the station.
The men were advised to go to hospital, but the Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat Station post said they declined, and the station arranged a taxi for them after they had been warmed up sufficiently to leave unaided.
The inflatable was destroyed at the station.
Following the incident, Hugh Mockler, Deputy Launch Authority praised Mr O’Donovan for his seamanship and first aid skills in bringing the two men back to shore safely.
He also issued a stark warning about the use of inflatables.
“These supermarket inflatables have no place on the sea as they are downright dangerous. If these men had not been spotted by Aengus they may never have been found and become another avoidable tragedy for two families," he said.