Clare Search Operation

27 January 2021

On Tuesday morning, 26th January, Clare Civil Defence was activated by An Garda Síochána to assist with a search for a missing person. They had received a report of a 70 year-old male who had not been seen since the day before. This was out of character for the gentleman in question. An aerial search was carried out by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter R115 based out of Shannon on the night of Monday 25th January but to no avail.

Clare Civil Defence provided an immediate response of 15 members who were tasked to an area outside the town of Ennis. On arrival at the scene the Search Manager liaised with An Garda Síochána and members of the Irish Coast Guard. A search plan was formulated and a comprehensive search began. The Clare Civil Defence drone team was also in attendance, however, the inclement weather restricted the use of the drone. Plans to increase the Civil Defence resources, should the search become a prolonged event were set in motion by the Civil Defence Officer, Noel Carmody which included the request for a search dog from our colleagues in Dublin Civil Defence. Arrangements were finalised for the two Dublin Civil Defence K9 Unit search dogs to attend at the scene on the morning of Wednesday 27th January.

At approximately 3pm a report was received that the gentleman had been located by some of his neighbours who were also conducting a search. A request was made for Civil Defence medical personnel to attend at the scene in order to render much needed medical attention to the gentleman. Two Clare Civil Defence Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) treated the gentleman for significant hypothermia whilst awaiting the arrival of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to transport the gentleman to hospital for futher assessment and treatment. Members of Clare Civil Defence extricated the gentleman using a basket stretcher from what could only be described as extremely awkward terrain in order to allow for ease of transfer to the NAS. The search crews were stood down at 4pm and returned to base shortly thereafter.

Congratulations and thanks are due to all of those involved with this search which thankfully had a very successful outcome.

As an interesting addendum to the conclusion of the search – the gentleman was handed over to an active member of Clare Civil Defence who is also a Paramedic with the NAS for transport and further treatment and on his arrival at University Hospital Limerick, he was then handed over to another active member of Clare Civil Defence who is an Emergency Department (ED) nurse, for triage and treatment.