A canoeist had a narrow escape after four hours in a county Mayo lake yesterday and his son and another child also on the water at the time, managed to get ashore
The man’s kayak overturned in Lough Conn and fortunately he was wearing a life jacket.
The man in his 40s had been kayaking on a single sit vessel, with the two children on a double, when he went into the water.
A major search operation was launched after Gerry Murphy, who owns a boat hire company was advised by relative of the man that the group had not returned.
Gerry began looking for them and knowing the lake well, immediately contacted the emergency services.
Lough Conn measures 5 miles by 10 miles and covers 14,000 acres.
The search included local boats and a Coast Guard helicopter, and continued for an hour of darkness yesterday evening until the man was spotted at about 10pm by Foxford fisherman Michael Tiernan who stayed with the man for about 20 minutes until he could be safely taken out of the water.
The kayaker was visiting people in the area with his son and the two, and a local child had entered the water with two kayaks at Massbrook at about 6pm. A short time later, the two children, who remained in their kayak managed to get ashore at Knockmore to the northeast of where they went in.
It’s reported that when the man’s kayak overturned he told the children to stay in their vessel and to get to shore. They did so and arrived back safely.
The Killala Coast Guard unit, with the assistance of local boats, scrambled to find the man, as did the Co Sligo-based helicopter, which was able to shine lights into the dark water.
He was recovered in good physical condition, although with mild hypothermia, and taken to Mayo University Hospital for treatment.