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