Windsurfer recovering at University Hospital Limerick after surviving seven hours at sea

Anthony Geoghegan

Reporter:

Anthony Geoghegan

The Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 was deployed in the incident

The Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 was deployed in the incident

A WINDSURFER who was miraculously rescued on Sunday evening after being lost at sea on the southwest coast for over seven hours is recovering at University Hospital Limerick.

Lorenzo Cubeddu, 59, who drifted away from the coast of Ballybunion beach at 3.30pm was later found in Kilkee, County Clare, before he was rushed to UHL.

The alarm was raised by a local fisherman, who contacted Mr Cubeddu’s employer at SuperValu in Ballybunion who then contacted the Irish Coast Guard.

A multi-agency search-and-rescue operation took place with the Coast Guard, Kilrush RNLI, naval vessels, and Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 deployed.

One of the rescue helicopters passed overhead Mr Cubeddu off the coast of County Clare; unfortunately, the rescue team were unable to see him.

On his surfboard, Mr Cubeddu drifted nearly 30 nautical miles north, eventually coming close to the cliffs of Kilkee.

In the dark, the windsurfer leapt from his surfboard onto the jagged rocks and managed to claw and scrape his way to the top of the cliff.

After wandering and being shocked by an electric fence at around 11pm, Mr Cubeddu spotted a mobile home in the distance.

The elderly occupant of the mobile home then alerted the emergency services after finding the windsurfer in his state.

Mr Cubeddu was transported to University Hospital Limerick where he is currently being treated for dehydration since Monday morning.

According to reports, Lorenzo’s wife Amanda said that although it was the most difficult seven hours of her life, she never gave up hope even when the gardaí arrived at her friend’s house.

When the gardaí told Ms Cubeddu that her husband was recovering at UHL, she cried tears of joy, and travelled to Limerick where the couple were reunited.