THE VOLUNTEER crew of Bundoran RNLI, along with a rescue helicopter, came to the aid of a surfer in Rossnowlagh at the weekend after they got in difficulty and were almost blown out to sea.
A passerby on the beach raised the alarm shortly after 3pm on Sunday, after spotting the sufer in distress. The surfer, who had gone into the water at the Smuggler’s Creek side of the beach, was seen being blown offshore by a surf instructor, who also went to the surfer’s aid.
The passerby called the emergency services, alerting the Coast Guard, which in turn requested that the Bundoran RNLI inshore lifeboat be launched. The Coast Guard also called the Sligo-based Rescue 118 helicopter in to help.
The volunteer rescue crew arrived on the scene for 3.30pm and began a search of the area. The RNLI said the weather conditions were “fair” at the time, and visibility was good.
The crew soon found both the surfer and the surf instructor near Carrickfad rocks, almost 2km from where the surfer had originally entered the water.
Both men were assessed and were uninjured, and were brought back to shore by the crew.
Bundoran RNLI helm, Richard Gillespie, warned anyone planning a trip to the seaside this summer to respect the power of the water.
“The sea can be very unforgiving and with the wind at a Force 5 at the time, it was fortunate that the surfer was spotted from the shore and that the alarm was raised. We would like to commend the member of the public who did that along with the surf instructor who also went to help,” he said, upon returning to the Bundoran station on Sunday.
“As we head into the summer months, we would remind anyone planning an activity at sea to always check the weather forecast and tide times before venturing out, always let someone on the shore know where you are going and your intended return time.
“Always wear a personal floatation device, always carry a means of communication and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”
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