Swimmer rescued by the Coastguard after rough conditions in Ballybunion
A MALE tourist at the Nun’s Strand in Ballybunion was lucky to escape with his life this past weekend after he got into difficulty when swimming on Sunday evening.
At around 6pm on Sunday, the Ballybunion Sea & Cliff Rescue Service along with the Ballybunion Coast Guard Unit and local Lifeguards received a call from a member of the public who had spotted three swimmers in difficulty.
On their arrival to the scene, two of the three swimmers had managed to reach safety but the remaining swimmer however had become trapped on the north side of the strand under high cliffs.
After assessing that the swimmer was in no imminent danger, it was decided that the safest options for all involved was to task Helicopter Rescue 115 to extract him.
Sea conditions were rough at the time with large breaking waves and a lot of surf rebounding from the cliff face.
The helicopter was on the scene within 15 minutes and with the Ballybunion Coast Guard Unit having set up a climb team overhead and a Ballybunion D-Class Rescue Boat on standby, the swimmer was winched to safety.
They landed in a nearby field which had already been secured in the interest of public safety and the safety of nearby livestock where the swimmer was handed over and was then assessed by the medical team from the Ballybunion Sea Cliff and Rescue.
No injuries were reported on any of the three swimmers, who hailed from Offaly and Westmeath and who were holidaying in Ballybunion for a number of days.
All in, the entire rescue operation took 34 minutes and it was co-ordinated by the Valentia Coast Guard Radio Station.
The Ballybunion Sea & Cliff Rescue team wish to thank the member of the public who made the 999/112 call and they wish to extend their thanks to the wider public as well for being so vigilant in general.
A rescue crew member looks on from Helicopter Rescue 115 on Sunday evening as the rescue services help to winch to safety a swimmer who got into difficulty swimming at the Nun’s Strand.