Volunteers from Bundoran RNLI were involved in the rescue of a man and a boy who got caught in a rip current off Bundoran beach yesterday.
Malin Head Coast Guard requested the inshore lifeboat to launch at 3.07pm following reports that a boy was missing on Rossnowlagh Beach. However, as the lifeboat prepared for launch, updated information came through that the boy at Rossnowlagh had been located but that in a separate incident, a man and a boy were in trouble in the water off Bundoran Beach.
Weather conditions at the time were sunny and Bundoran’s main beach was packed with visitors enjoying the good weather.
The lifeboat helmed by Brian Gillespie and with three crew members onboard launched immediately and was on scene in minutes. Meanwhile, RNLI shore crew from the station made their way to the beach on foot to also assist.
On arrival, the lifeboat crew observed that local surfers were attending to the man in the water while two members of the public were attending to the boy on the beach who had been pulled out of the sea. Both were being treated for the effects of swallowing a considerable amount of sea water.
The lifeboat crew immediately took the man onboard and began to administer casualty care while the shore crew, one of whom is a paramedic, began to administer casualty care to the boy on the beach.
Casualty care on the lifeboat continued until the arrival of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo. The man was subsequently airlifted and brought to Sligo University Hospital while the boy was transferred to hospital by an ambulance crew.
Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McGowan, said: "All at Bundoran RNLI would like to wish both casualties a speedy and full recovery following their ordeal yesterday afternoon. We would also like to commend the quick actions of the local surfers and the members of the public who went to their assistance as the lifeboat made its way to the scene."
He urged all those who would be going to the beach during this spate of good weather to respect the water.
"We are experiencing some lovely weather in Bundoran which is seeing locals and visitors alike flocking to our beaches to enjoy themselves. As we near the end of the northern Bank Holiday weekend and look forward to the southern Bank Holiday weekend, we would urge anyone heading to the beach to respect the water," he said.
He added that rip currents are strong currents that can quickly take swimmers from the shallows out beyond their depth.
"Should you get caught in one, try and stay calm, don’t panic. If you can stand, wade, don’t swim. Raise your hand and if you can, shout for help. Never try to swim against the rip or you will get exhausted. Swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip, then make way for the shore. If you see anyone in difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard."