Helvick Head RNLI called to assist two swimmers in difficulty off Clonea beach
Helvick Head RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 7 June) following a report that two swimmers were in difficulty off Clonea beach.
With moderate seas and Force 4-5 east/north easterly winds, the volunteer crew launched the Robert Armstrong lifeboat at 5.22pm, following a request by the Irish Coast Guard who had been alerted by a member of the public.
The lifeboat, helmed by Alan Kelly and with volunteer crew members Paidi Breathnach, Simon O’Hara and Rian Kelly onboard, made its way to the reported location. On arrival at the scene at 5.27pm, it materialised the two teenagers had been assisted from the water by another member of the public who was helping at a swim class, highly proficient in the water and wearing a buoyancy aid.
Two of the lifeboat crew were requested by the Coast Guard with swimming ashore to clear the area which allowed the Waterford based Rescue 117 helicopter to land safely. With local Gardai also in attendance, the situation was assessed, the casualties found to be safe and well however, as a precaution, they were transferred to hospital for observation.
Speaking following the call out, Sean Walsh, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The volunteer lifeboat crew and the Coast Guard carry out regular joint training exercises so when the call comes to work together in a genuine emergency, we all know what to do. We wish to thank both members of the public who assisted in the incident and remind everyone not to put themselves at any unnecessary risk. If you do get into difficulty or see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’
Key facts about the RNLI
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 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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