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Swimmer swept from Owenahincha to Rosscarbery by today's strong currents

Thursday, 27th June, 2019 5:23pm

Story by Siobhan Cronin
Swimmer swept from Owenahincha to Rosscarbery by today's strong currents

The lifeboat and shore crew following the call-out

UNION Hall RNLI assisted a swimmer who was reported missing off Owenahincha Beach this afternoon.  

The volunteer crew was requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their inshore lifeboat at 1.24pm after the alarm was raised by a lifeguard that a strong swimmer was missing for 15 minutes off Owenahincha Beach in West Cork, and last spotted near an area notorious for tidal currents.  

The lifeboat helmed by Chris Collins and with Charlie Deasy and Dan Collins onboard, launched at 1.30pm and made its way to the scene three nautical miles east of the harbour arriving at 1.48pm.   Weather conditions were poor at the time with a south east Force 6, gusting Force 7 wind and a big swell.  

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked, along with the local Coast Guard unit from Castlefreke.   Once on the scene, the lifeboat first conducted a search around the rocks where the swimmer was last seen.

Due to the tidal and wind conditions, the lifeboat proceeded to conduct a westerly search and successfully located the swimmer in 10 minutes near Rosscarbery Pier. The swimmer was in a good condition and the lifeboat proceeded to escort the man safely to shore.  

Speaking following the call-out, Jim Moloney, Union Hall RNLI deputy launching authority said: ‘We are delighted that the swimmer was safe and well when we located him. And we were happy to escort him safely to shore. We would like to commend the lifeguard for his vigilance and prompt actions as the area can be notorious for tidal currents and conditions at sea were not good at the time.’