RTE news reports one member of the Irish Coast Guard has died, and another is trapped in a cave after their vessel overturned during a search operation off Kilkee in Co Clare.
A third member of the crew has been rescued and taken to hospital.
The three members of the coast guard unit based at Kilkee – two women and a man – were involved in an ongoing search operation this afternoon for a man missing from Lisseycasey, when their rigid inflatable boat (RIB) flipped over in a heavy swell as they searched near the cliffs at Kilkee.
A major search operation got under way following the incident, which involved another unit from Kilkee and the rescue helicopter from Shannon.
The coastguard has confirmed that one member of the RIB crew, a woman, has died.
A second female crew member was airlifted to hospital.
Divers have reached a third crew member who was trapped inside a cave and has been taken to hospital. His condition is not known.
A founding member of the Kilkee Rescue Unit described the situation as “tragic”.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Manuel De Lucia said the RIB’s coxswain was trapped inside a cave and said the operation is extremely difficult due to high winds and heavy winds.