RNLI rescue swimmer off Kerry coast after spotting pod of dolphins

The missing swimmer's clothes were found on a beach at 11am, but the RNLI didn't find the person until 8.30pm
RNLI rescue swimmer off Kerry coast after spotting pod of dolphins

A volunteer lifeboat crew from Fenit RNLI and Rescue 115 were requested to search for a missing swimmer, after the discovery of clothes on a beach in Castlegregory at 11am on Sunday. File photo: Domnick Walsh

A missing swimmer was rescued more than eight hours after his clothes were found on a beach in Co Kerry on Sunday, due to the RNLI spotting a nearby pod of dolphins.

A volunteer lifeboat crew from Fenit RNLI and Rescue 115 were requested to search for a missing swimmer, after the discovery of clothes on a beach in Castlegregory at 11am on Sunday.

Conditions were excellent with calm waters and low tide and a search was undertaken of the area. With nothing found and no further information the search was stood down in the afternoon.

At 6pm the search was reactivated at the request of An Garda Siochana with the two lifeboats searching the original area and the bay nearer to Tralee and again joined by Rescue 115 overhead.

At 8.30pm, 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.

It is not known how long the swimmer had been in the water but the casualty was conscious when found.

The swimmer was then brought to Fenit Harbour, met by an ambulance, before being transported to Kerry University Hospital.

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 see 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,” he said.

“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.” 

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

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