'Derry man' rescued off Dingle peninsula after being spotted treading water next to pod of dolphins

A man, reportedly from Derry, has been rescued off the Dingle peninsula after the RNLI spotted him treading water next to a pod of dolphins.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:35 am
The Fenit RNLI lifeboat.

The man in his 30s got into difficulty in Tralee Bay on Sunday.

Fenit RNLI said an extensive search was launched after clothes were discovered on a beach at Castlegregory on the northern coast of the Dingle peninsula at 11am.

At 8.30pm, almost ten hours later, volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a pod of dolphins and a head above the water about two and a half miles off Castlegregory beach.

The casualty was conscious and immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and brought Fenit Harbour to be taken to hospital. Fenit RNLI’s medical advisor was also on scene, said the RNLI.

It is not known how long the swimmer had been in the water.

According to local media reports the man is believed to be from Derry and told rescuers that he had been attempting to swim to Mucklaghmore Rock which is nine kilometres from Castlegregory where his clothes were discovered.

The RNLI said it was fortunate that conditions were excellent with calm waters during Sunday.

Commenting on the rescue Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Gerard O’Donnell said: "After a long and exhaustive search, members of the lifeboat crew were overjoyed to sight the missing swimmer in the water.

"They had been scanning the water for any sign of movement and were worried with light fading that they would not find anyone. Even at this time of year, the water can be very cold and as, yet we don’t know how long this person was in the water and when they entered it. When the lifeboat crew found them, they were a good distance from the shore and were exhausted.’

"We would advise that anyone undertaking a swim lets people know where they are going and when they expected back. This was a very lucky individual."