A swimmer who was being swept out to sea had a lucky escape this evening after she stayed calm and afloat before being saved by her partner.
The drama unfolded in East Cork at around 7pm when a woman got into difficulty while swimming at Ballycroneen beach, between Roche's Point and Ballycotton.
Her partner managed to swim ashore and asked a man on the beach to raise the alarm.
The woman’s partner then put on his own life jacket and swim fins and went back out to help her.
Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat Austin Lidbury was launched at 7.02pm following a request from Valentia coast guard to a report of a swimmer in difficulty.
The coast guard helicopter, rescue 117, Guileen Coast Guard unit and Crosshaven RNLI were also tasked to the scene.
As they were all responding, the stricken swimmer managed to stay afloat and stay calm and the coast guard unit arrived on the scene just as the couple were making their way out of the water.
The coast guard crew administered first aid until HSE National Ambulance Service paramedics arrived. Rescue 117 was also on scene and ready to deploy a winchman if needed.
But the helicopter and the lifeboat crews were stood down when it was clear that the woman was ok.
Conditions were cloudy with northerly winds and reduced visibility due to fading light.
In a statement this evening, Guileen Coast Guard praised the woman for staying calm and her partner for his swift response.
They also thanked the person who raised the alarm and reminded people that if they see someone in trouble in the water to dial 112 and ask for the coast guard.
A spokesperson for Ballycotton RNLI urged everyone to respect the water, to understand the risks and to stay safe.
“Never swim alone. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. Consider wearing a wetsuit and bright coloured hat and safety buoy for longer swims,” she said.