Man, 40, in ‘good spirits’ trapped in Co Mayo cave while major rescue operation underway

A man (40) trapped in a sea cave in Co Mayo as of yesterday was described as “in good spirits” as a major rescue operation is still underway.

Ardaí and emergency services remain at the site of the ongoing operation in the Downpatrick Head area.

Michael Hurst, Ballyglass Coastguard, told today: “It’s been a long night for him.

“He’s in good spirits. The lifeboats check him every half hour.

“You call him and he can confirm they’re there and move his arms and legs.

“He’s high up. It’s about ten feet up in the cave, so it’s dry. He is very happy.

“But the thing is, he’s so close and yet so far.

“We have to keep everyone safe.

“Where we are right now, we’re waiting for low tide at 5 p.m.

“He was with a partner and as far as we know they kayaked in the area and chose to walk around the cliffs at low tide.

“When the water level is very low, you can walk around the cliffs and people often take photos there.

“It was just a freak wave.

“He is an experienced cave rescuer himself, he knows the area and the conditions. You just got caught in a freak wave.

“There were kayakers who managed to grab it but unfortunately he pushed his way into the cave and couldn’t get out.

“Many of his colleagues are there now, helping with the rescue.”

It comes as a number of Coastguard units are currently on site, along with the RNLI Lifeboat from Ballyglass, the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Sligo, Mayo County Fire Service, Civil Defense and Irish Cave Rescue.

A Malin Head Coastguard spokesman said they had been tasked with the scene and the situation was ongoing.

“There are many agencies there this morning, from coastguard to lifeboat to cliff rescue and gardaí. They hope to get this man out soon,” the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Irish Coastguard said the situation has been ongoing since they received an initial warning on Saturday afternoon.

“The Malin Head Rescue Coordination Sub-Center, in conjunction with the other emergency services, is currently coordinating a rescue operation for a man trapped in a cave at Downpatrick Head on the North Mayo coast,” the spokesman said.

“The conditions on site are described as good and the operation is currently ongoing.”

Garda Superintendent Gabriel Moran recently told the rescue center that the couple got into trouble when they were washed off a ledge by a swell last night.

“The male managed to get onto a ledge where he stayed overnight.

“We were able to keep in touch with him overnight and throughout the morning.

“We are working on a number of options on how best to save him.” Man, 40, in ‘good spirits’ trapped in Co Mayo cave while major rescue operation underway

Fry Electronics Team

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