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Ballycotton RNLI rescues child after off shore wind pulls inflatable out to sea

Lifeboats News Release

Ballycotton RNLI rescued a child yesterday evening after an off shore breeze pulled her inflatable dinghy out to sea.

Ballycotton’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Eolan Walsh was launched at approximately 5.30pm (Thursday 4 August) after the nine-year-old girl got into difficulty on Ardnahinch beach, approximately 1.7 miles from Ballycotton.

The child was playing with an inflatable dinghy when she drifted out to sea. Valentia Coast Guard was quickly alerted and then requested the volunteer crew members from Ballycotton RNLI and Youghal RNLI to launch their all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

Although the weather conditions were calm, an off shore breeze caused the inflatable dinghy to drift out to sea with the girl onboard.

The Ballycotton inshore boarding boat was first to arrive on scene and was shortly followed by the all-weather lifeboat. The girl was brought onboard the inshore lifeboat where she was assessed and found to be safe and well but in a distressed state. She was assisted by the crew member and brought back safely to her parents on the beach.

Speaking following the call out Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh said: ‘This was a frightening experience for the young girl and her family and we would like to wish them all well following their ordeal. Thankfully, the alarm was raised quickly and the casualty was wearing a suitable buoyancy aid which attributed to a positive outcome.'

‘While the coast is a great place for young people and families to enjoy, we would remind everyone to respect the water, to understand the risks and to stay safe. When using a dinghy, always make sure you wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid; always carry a means of calling or signalling for help. Check the weather forecasts and tide times before you go and if on your own, tell someone about your plans – where you intend to go and when you expect to return, and know how to contact the Coast Guard.’

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RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Michelle Scanlon, Ballycotton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press on 0863528919, email mellsca@hotmail.com or contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 0876483547, email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 0871254124 or 018900460 or email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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