‘Frostbit Boy’ identified as man rescued after 12 hours in Kerry waters surrounded by dolphins

The 24-year-old went viral online in 2015 following a TV interview that garnered millions of views when he was walking to school in the snow and said "you wouldn't be long getting frostbit"
‘Frostbit Boy’ identified as man rescued after 12 hours in Kerry waters surrounded by dolphins

"Frostbit Boy", Ruairí McSorely, rose to internet fame in 2015 after giving a very Irish weather report.

Ruairí McSorely, famously known on the internet as ‘Frostbit Boy’, has been identified as the swimmer who was rescued off the coast of Kerry on Sunday night, after spending 12 hours in the sea.

The 24-year-old went viral online in 2015 following a TV interview that garnered millions of views when he was walking to school in the snow and said "you wouldn't be long getting frostbit."

Ruairí, who is originally from Derry, was released from University Hospital Kerry on Tuesday.

Mr McSorley told the Irish Independent he was feeling “100%” after the incident with “no long-term damage.” 

“The only thing was my kidneys needed to readjust, so there has been no serious harm. It was only a matter of going into the hospital to heat up a bit. Other than that, I was fine,” he said.

Mr McSorely did not tell family or friends he would be going to swim out to what he believed was Fenit island, as he said it was a spur-of-the-moment decision.

“I just jumped in, and that was it,” he said.

“I saw Fenit lighthouse out in the water, and I said, right I’m going towards it. I wouldn’t have got in to start with if I didn’t know I was going to be grand.” 

McSorely saw "black tails" appear near him in the water and couldn't tell whether they were sharks or dolphins.

He said:

I just thought to myself, maybe it wouldn’t have been the worst idea to have googled this before I jumped in, but they were just dolphins.

“They wouldn’t have done any harm to you. I’d no problem with them.

“They were just swimming around me. If anything, they may have helped me. It was definitely an experience,” he told the newspaper.

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.

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.

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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