Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew were alerted by the Coast Guard this morning, March 4, when a lone kayaker failed to arrive at Hodson Bay on schedule.
The alarm was raised shortly before 12 noon when the man, who had departed Lecarrow at around 9.30am, had not reached his intended destination.
The lifeboat crew launched within minutes and proceeded to the western shore of Lough Ree, where they began to search the lake.
Working their way northwards towards Lecarrow, they checked all inlets and bays along the route, searching for any sign of the man or his kayak.
The weather at the time was windy and very cold, with persistent rain making visibility poor.
Shortly before 1pm, Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was deployed, while more Lough Ree RNLI crew members launched RIBs made available to them by Lough Ree Yacht Club and Athlone Sub Aqua Club.
The crews proceeded to methodically search the lake, widening the search area across to the eastern shore.
Around 13:40, Coast Guard Rescue 118 sighted an object in the water near the eastern shore at Fat Head. The lifeboat crew quickly reached the area and recovered the casualty from the water.
Oxygen and CPR were administered immediately by the lifeboat crew.
Lifesaving efforts continued throughout the journey back to Coosan Point, where the casualty was transferred into the care of ambulance paramedics and taken to hospital.
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