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Bundoran RNLI issue safety advice on rip currents after Tullan Strand incident

Lifeboats News Release

Bundoran RNLI is reminding anyone planning a trip to the coast this summer to be mindful of the potential dangers and particularly the hazardous rip currents that can quickly sweep you out to sea.

RNLI/Bundoran

The advice comes as the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI were this morning (Saturday 15 July) requested to launch to Tullan Strand in Bundoran following reports that there were several people in difficulty in the sea.

A group of footballers had been training on Tullan Strand and entered the water to cool down following their session. The strong currents at Tullan began to carry a number of them out to sea and into the rocks.

Concerned onlookers immediately called the Coast Guard and within minutes both the inshore lifeboat from Bundoran and the Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter were at the scene.

Meanwhile, a group of quick thinking surfers, one of whom is crew member with Bundoran RNLI, entered the water on boards and helped the footballers to safety.

On arrival, the lifeboat ensured that all casualties were out of the water while Rescue 118 landed on Tullan Strand and also made sure that everyone was accounted for.

The lifeboat crew trained in first aid assisted eight of the players, some who were bruised and some who had swallowed sea water before ambulances arrived. A number of the casualties were taken to Sligo University Hospital as a precaution.

Following the incident, Bundoran RNLI helm James Cassidy reminded anyone planning a trip to the area of the potential dangers: ‘Thankfully everyone is safe this afternoon and we would like to wish the group well following what must have been a frightening experience. We would remind locals and visitors alike that Tullan Strand and particularly the area along the cliffs is notorious for rip currents and under currents and is really not suitable for swimming. Rips are strong currents running out to sea which can catch even the most experienced beachgoers out. They can take you from the shallows very quickly and leave you out of your depth. Bundoran’s main beach is supervised by lifeguards all summer long and provides the best option for safe, supervised swimming during the summer period.

‘Should you get caught in a rip, the best advice is to stay calm and don’t panic. If you can stand, wade. Don’t try to swim. If you have an inflatable or board, keep hold of it to help you float. Raise your hand and shout for help loudly. Don’t swim directly against the rip or you will get exhausted. Swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip, then make for shore.

Further sea safety advice can be found on www.respectthewater.com

Ends

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Shane Smyth, Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 0876611022 or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 0876483547 or 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

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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