Europe

Malin Head Coast Guard station closure 'would cost lives'

The mother of a man whose life was saved at sea on Saturday has claimed people will die if Malin Head Irish Coast Guard station is closed down.

Patrick McNamee was swept a mile and a half (2.4 km) out to sea from Five Fingers Strand in County Donegal.

The 22-year-old, who had been swimming, was rescued unconsious and is now in a stable condition in hospital.

Since the start of August, the station has helped to save 16 lives - but its future is under review.

The Irish Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar, is due to make a decision in October on whether or not to retain the Irish Coast Guard's Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) at Malin Head.

Patrick's mother Julie McNamee, told BBC Radio Foyle the station must stay open.

"If they're not going to be there after this, anyone that gets into trouble after my son is not going to be here because who's going to get them?

"I wouldn't want anybody to be in the situation that we were in but now that I've been through it I know how much it's needed," she said.

Mr McNamee was airlifted to Altnagelvin hospital in Londonderry following the rescue operation on Saturday, which was directed by the Irish Coast Guard.

A RNLI boat was launched from Buncrana after a member of the public alerted the Coast Guard and helped to pinpoint his location.

More on this story