Swim­mer res­cued by the Coast­guard af­ter rough con­di­tions in Bally­bunion

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS - By FER­GUS DENNEHY

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.

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