'Missing' swimmer turns up safe during major search operation

File photo.

A search for a swimmer reported missing off the Kerry coast this afternoon has been stood down.

It’s now understood that a man, whom it was feared was in difficulty and missing, made his way ashore and presented himself to rescue services personnel apparently unaware that they were searching for him.

The alarm was raised shortly before 2.00pm when a male swimmer was reported in difficulty off Fenit.

Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry mounted a search and rescue operation.

Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the volunteer service’s smaller in-shore rescue craft were launched while the Glenderry unit of the Irish Coast Guard was also requested to assist.

The Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to assist in the operation. Gardaí and National Ambulance Service paramedics were also involved in the search which was concentrated in the vicinity of the lighthouse west of Fenit Harbour.

Both lifeboats and Rescue 115 carried out a comprehensive search of a wide area but found no trace of any missing person. Coast Guard search teams also combed the coastline in search of the swimmer.

At around 3.20pm, a swimmer came ashore and was met by emergency services personnel.

The man confirmed that he had been swimming in the search area and that he saw no other swimmer. It’s understood that search teams are satisfied that this was the swimmer for whom the search had been mounted.

All search teams were stood down about 90 minutes after the operation was mounted while the Irish Coast Guard has confirmed that call was a ‘false alarm with good intent.’

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