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Donegal rescuers attend '10 incidents'

Rescue services in County Donegal attended a number of incidents on Wednesday.

One man was hurt after falling from cliffs at Cruit Island in Donegal.

He was taken to hospital in Letterkenny by helicopter.

In a separate incident, two men were rescued after their boat capsized on the Gweebara estuary on the west coast of Donegal. The alarm was raised when a third man swam ashore.

Michael Mullins from Malin Head coastguard said the number of incidents on Wednesday was "a little bit unusual".

"We had about 10 incidents altogether, so that really kept the guys on their feet," he said.

"The boat that capsized, we got the initial 999 call coming in around 13:00 BST yesterday afternoon.

"It had been a busy morning already with island medivacs and the helicopter was very busy.

"One of the guys in the capsized boat managed to swim ashore about 100m, was able to flag down somebody, get to a phone and raise the alarm that his two other colleagues were in the water and were being swept out."

Mr Mullins said the Arranmore lifeboat and the Bunbeg coastguard team had been dispatched to the incident along with a helicopter.

"When it got there the guys had made their way ashore, but needed urgent medical attention and we airlifted them to Letterkenny Hospital," he said.

"That was at about 15:00 BST. Then we had the report of a person who had fallen down a cliff in Carrickfinn."

The helicopter had to land at a golf club to rescue the man in his 30s and fly him to Letterkenny Hospital.

Hero

"About an hour later, Mayo mountain rescue called us and we had another person who had fallen down a cliff," Mr Mullins said.

"This was a 19-year-old female with a potential spinal injury, she was airlifted to Castlebar.

"There was really a lot happening here.

"With the three people on the boat, I need to stress the fact that they were wearing lifejackets, all of them. If they weren't wearing lifejackets that could have turned out really differently.

"That guy that swam ashore, in our opinion he's really a hero, he saved their lives."

"With all these people we wish them the best and a speedy recovery."

The Malin Head coastguard said it was important for people to take precautions if they were heading out to sea.

"We suggest they talk to local people who really know the area and know the dangers," he said.

"And of course, wear a lifejacket and if you are going out let people know where you're going, what time you expect to be back, have some way of making contact with the rescue services.

"It was a busy day, a lot going on but that's what we're here for, to save lives but of course it's better if we can prevent people from getting into this situation."

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