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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 5 December 2020

Father and sons saved by lifeboat after getting caught in rip current

All three were taken to hospital.

Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat
Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat
Image: William Henry Liddington

THREE SWIMMERS WERE rescued from the sea off Donegal last night after they got caught in a rip current.

The volunteer lifeboat crew from Bundoran RNLI were able to rescue the trio after sea conditions changed suddenly.

The RNLI crew was called by Malin Head Coast Guard at 8.07pm and proceeded immediately to the scene, a short distance from the lifeboat station. The father and his two sons had been swimming off the main beach in Bundoran when conditions changed.

The sea state was showing two to three metre broken swells and the water was described as choppy.

The three were recovered onto the lifeboat and brought back to the station where they were met by ambulance and taken to hospital. All three had been wearing wetsuits and one had a flotation device.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain Tony McGowan said:

“Conditions in the sea had been good before the callout but had taken a sudden turn for the worse. It is understand the three casualties got caught in a rip current and were in some difficulty. Thankfully there were able to walk from the lifeboat to the waiting ambulance.

“For anyone caught in a rip current the advice is not to try to swim against it or you’ll become exhausted. If you can stand, wade don’t swim. If you can, then you should swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Always raise your hand and shout for help. We wish the three people involved in last night’s rescue a full recovery.”

Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can quickly drag people and debris away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water.

20 minutes after the rescue, the lifeboat crew was called to help another group of swimmers, but this was stood down when they all made it safely to shore.

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