Search for man missing on Lough Ree called off for night - two hospitalised
Search efforts to locate a man missing in Lough Ree, Co Westmeath have been called off for the night after an incident involving three men earlier.
A search operation involving the local lifeboat, the Sligo coastguard helicopter and Athlone Sub Aqua Club was launched at around 3pm today when three men, believed to be from the North, who were on the lake in a small boat went missing in the Hodson Bay area.
Two of the men were located before 5.30pm this evening and taken to Ballinasloe Hospital, where one is reported to be in a serious condition.
"The alarm was raised by a local man this afternoon when he witnessed the group setting off for Carnagh in a 15-foot boat," Lough Ree RNLI said.
"Conditions on the Lough were described as gusty with a force five to six wind.
"Lough Ree RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched and came upon a man in the water at 4pm.
"They recovered the semi-conscious casualty onto the lifeboat and transported him to Hodson Bay where he was handed over to a waiting ambulance.
"The lifeboat crew immediately returned to the scene to continue the search and located a second casualty in the water at 5.15pm.
"He was again transferred by lifeboat back to Hodson Bay and met by ambulance."
The search is expected to resume at first light tomorrow.
“This was a major search and rescue operation on Lough Ree involving the RNLI, Coast Guard, Athlone Sub Aqua, Lanesborough Sub Aqua, and other local boats," said Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Damien Delaney.
"The lifeboat crew were able to rescue two men from the water but a third remains missing.
"Our thoughts are with the men’s families this evening. We will be launching again at first light to resume the search."