Eoin Corkery lost his left hand and could easily have lost his life but for a series of speedy responses from those involved in his rescue on the evening of June 9, 2012.
He was heading back to his mooring in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, when his rib struck something in the water and he was thrown back from the wheel. He fell overboard as the boat went into a turn.
“I felt like I was in a dream because, as the life jacket inflated, I looked at my left hand and it was gone,” said Eoin. “Then I looked at the boat and it was going in circles. I thought to myself ‘get back in the boat’, and I swam towards it and grabbed at the lifelines, but I was using my left arm and there was nothing to grab with.”
As he tried to process what was happening, the boat hit him again a number of times, finally knocking him unconscious. Luckily, his lifejacket kept him face-up in the water.
As the drama unfolded, a sailor spotted the revolving boat and man overboard through a telescope from his house two miles away in Camden, near Crosshaven, and alerted the RNLI. The lifeboat was launched with Kieran Coniry at the helm.
“Fortunately, we were in the lifeboat station in Crosshaven preparing for our open day the following day when we got the call,” said Kieran.