A body has been recovered from the base of a 600ft high cliff in Co Clare this afternoon.
The recovery operation was carried out by an RNLI lifeboat crew because all Irish Coast Guard boat operations are currently suspended.
The alarm was raised at around 12.30pm when it was reported that a man was seen falling from the Cliffs of Moher.
The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to the incident along with the Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat. The lifeboat travelled over 20 kilometres from its base at Kilronan on Inis Mór to the scene.
In the meantime, volunteers from the Doolin unit of the Coast Guard, who are currently restricted to land-based operations, made their way to the location by road along with Gardaí.
RNLI volunteers launched a smaller D-class rescue craft from the deck of the larger all-weather lifeboat. They were able to make their way into the base of the cliff to recover the body.
The body was transported to Doolin pier where the lifeboat was met by a Coast Guard land team. Gardaí were also waiting at the Coast Guard station when the body was brought ashore.
After being formally pronounced dead by a doctor, the remains were removed by hearse to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem examination will be carried out. Gardaí will also conduct an investigation into the death and prepare a file for the county coroner who will hold an inquest at a later date.
The RNLI was requested to assist in today’s operation after all Irish Coast Guard search and rescue boat operations were suspended on Friday November 15th because of concerns over the safety of volunteer’s lifejackets.
The order, which remains in place, means that volunteers at 23 of the 44 stations that are equipped with Delta RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) and smaller D-Class boats, cannot launch their craft for rescue operations until further notice.
The Irish Coast Guard has said it’s actively managing the situation and is liaising closely with all key stakeholders and Search and Rescue (SAR) providers.