Mother and two daughters are rescued from cave
A MOTHER and her two young daughters endured a terrifying ordeal on Saturday afternoon after being swept out into a cave at Silver Strand.
The family were visiting Wicklow as day-trippers when two sisters, aged eight and 13, decided to go for a swim at Silver Strand, south of Wicklow Head. One of the girls got into difficulty in the water and her sister also ended up in trouble as she tried to help her.
When their mother noticed they were flailing in the water, she immediately ran into the sea, fully clothed, to help her daughters. Three other children belonging to the family watched in horror from the beach as their mother and two siblings were swept into a nearby cave.
The Wicklow RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at 4.40 p.m. and the Coast Guard was also alerted. The Dublin based Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 arrived on scene and a winch-man from the helicopter was landed on the beach to locate the casualties.
The inshore lifeboat arrived a short time later and Helm Graham Fitzgerald spotted the three people in a cave.
Weather conditions at the time were windy, southerly force 4 with high breaking surf at the cave. Mr Fitzgerald and the winch-man assessed the situation and decided that rocks near to the cave entrance would prevent the boat from getting too close. It was decided that the winch-
(Photo: Wicklow RNLI).
man would lead the casualties to an adjoining cave which was more accessible.
Once the casualties were in the other cave, the lifeboat crew brought the boat onto the beach and the three female casualties were transferred to the lifeboat along with the Coast Guard winch-man.
The winch-man, also a trained paramedic, examined the three casualties while onboard the lifeboat and they were all transported back to Wicklow Harbour.
At Wicklow Lifeboat Station, the mother and daughters were provided with hot drinks to help them warm up. A good Samaritan living near the Silver Strand looked after the three other children until they were later reunited with their mother and sisters.
Speaking after the call-out, Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Des Davitt said: ‘ This was a good outcome today resulting in three people being rescued in a joint operation involving Rescue 116, Wicklow inshore lifeboat and the local Coast Guard Shore unit, who located three other children from the group on the beach.’
Wicklow RNLI were involved in a similar rescue at Silver Stand in 2014 when the lifeboat was called out to rescue a woman who had been swept into a cave after getting into difficulty swimming. Two people who had tried to assist also had to be rescued.
Rescue 116 lands near the Black Castle on Saturday