Swimmer saved on first call out for Kinsale RNLI's youngest helm

Lifeboats News Release

Exactly one week after he was passed out as a helm on Kinsale’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Miss Sally Anne Baggy II, 21-year-old Jonathan Connor rescued a swimmer from the sea close to Sandycove Island in County Cork.

Jonathan Connor at the helm of Miss Sally Anne Baggy II

John Allen

Newly appointed Kinsale RNLI helm Jonathan Connor

Miss Sally Anne Baggy II was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard just after 8am yesterday (Wednesday 6 May) when three swimmers reported that the fourth member of their party was missing.

Jonathan, who along with fellow volunteer Lenny Fourie was passed out as a helm on Wednesday 8 May, knew time was of the essence as the swimmer had been in the water for a considerable length of time. Using his RNLI training and local knowledge, Jonathan quickly located the swimmer and in under 15 minutes had brought him to safety.

The swimmer, who displayed signs of exhaustion and hypothermia, was treated by paramedics at the lifeboat station and was able to return home.

Jonathan, a student at CIT, is one of the youngest helms in the RNLI fleet but is already an experienced sailor and a qualified commercial diver.

Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Gould said: 'Time was of the essence today and thankfully the swimmer is safe and well and we wish them a speedy recovery. It was a baptism of fire for Jonathan but he ran a text book operation. As always in the RNLI, it was down to teamwork, but Jonathan showed great leadership. He worked very hard to earn his place as a helm, and his training has paid off. We are all very proud of him.'

Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign. For further information on water safety visit respectthewater.com If you see anyone in trouble at the coast or get into difficulties yourself, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

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RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Tricia Tyson, Kinsale RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at triciamclernon@gmail.com or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 or Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

Lenny Fourie and Jonathan Connor in front of Miss Sally Anne Baggy II

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

New Kinsale helms Lenny Fourie and Jonathan Connor who were passed out on Wednesday 8 May 2019
Miss Sally Anne Baggy II in action

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

Kinsale lifeboat Miss Sally Anne Baggy II

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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, in a normal year, 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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