A man in his 60s was in a critical condition in Cork University Hospital last night after being pulled from the sea in Kinsale, Co Cork.
The man was rescued after a motorist spotted him face down in the water.
The motorist, who had been swimming earlier with a group of friends, was about to drive home just after 6pm when he noticed someone lying face down in the water.
He reversed his car 100m to the slipway and alerted people to the fact that there was someone in difficulty in the water, and asked a paddleboarder to go to scene and turn the man face-up as quickly as possible.
The paddleboard was used to transport the man to nearby rocks, where other swimmers helped remove him from the water.
The man’s wife was on the shore at the time and his daughter was swimming nearby.
It is understood the man had a heart complaint.
Onlookers contacted the emergency services and attempts were made to resuscitate the swimmer. Sandycove Island Swimming Club had a defibrillator installed a number of years ago and it was used in the rescue effort by a local woman trained in defibrillation. As that situation was unfolding, two local doctors who had gone for a swim also arrived on the scene to give assistance.
CPR and mouth-to-mouth were administered until the ambulance arrived. The Coast Guard and the rapid response unit also attended.
The man was subsequently airlifted to hospital about 90 minutes after the incident occurred.
One onlooker, who had been swimming in Sandycove, said he saw the man enter the water in a wetsuit, as he was on his way out.
The area is a well-known, safe, and popular swimming spot among locals, as well as the swimming club. Children swim there regularly, as well as those training for major events such as swimming the Channel.
Conditions at the time of the incident were described as benign.
It is believed the man had recently returned to Kinsale after living in Malta.
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