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.
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
Whilst on exercise to Mullaghmore this morning (Sunday 9thJuly), the volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat responded to a pan-pan emergency call from Malin Head Coast Guard at 11.40am. A five metre rib had been found at Malin Beg near Glencolmcille, County Donegal and one person was missing.
At around 12:15pm, the Bundoran Lifeboat began a shore search from Teelin towards Malin Beg Head. The Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter was on scene at Malin Beg Head with the all-weather lifeboat from Arranmore also requested to launch. A shore crew from the Killybegs Coast Guard unit was also tasked.
Following notification from Rescue 118 that a casualty had been spotted in the water at Malin Mor, the lifeboat crew made their way to the scene and recovered a casualty just before 1pm.
The casualty was brought to Teelin Pier and transferred into the care of the emergency services where he was pronounced dead by a local doctor.
The crew of the Bundoran Lifeboat sends its condolences to the family of the deceased.