Tue, 06 Jun 2023

CO MAYO, Ireland - A man in his forties was rescued after a 'freak wave' trapped him overnight in a cave off the coast of Mayo.

After being swept in and cut off during high tide at 6 p.m. on Saturday, he spent nearly 22 hours on a ledge in a sea cave at Downpatrick Head.

Rescuers checked on the man every half hour but could not reach him until the tide receded Sunday afternoon.

When word of the man's rescue reached the local community, there was a "huge sigh of relief," according to Agatha Hurst, Ballyglass RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer.

"Everyone is so happy that he was brought to safety, and the collaboration of all the different agencies was superb."

Along with the man, a woman was also trapped. A freak wave surge dragged the couple into the water as they walked.

Kayakers were able to rescue the woman, but weather conditions prevented efforts to save the stranded man.

The Coast Guard, gardai, the garda sub aqua unit, firefighters, and the local Civil Defence, among others, remained on the scene overnight to attempt a rescue.

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