Skerries RNLI lifeboat crew rescue young paddleboarder swept out to sea


Skerries RNLI was commissioned by the Dublin Coastguard on Monday afternoon following 999 calls reporting a young woman had been swept out to sea on her paddleboard.

Skerries volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 ‘Louis Simson’ inshore lifeboat shortly after 2 p.m. and minutes after the pagers sounded. The lifeboat launched and headed straight for Balbriggan harbour.

The Dublin Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter and the Skerries Coast Guard unit were also loaded.

As the lifeboat arrived at the scene, they received a message from the helicopter that the girl had been separated from her board and was in the water. The helicopter maintained a visual on the victim and guided the lifeboat to its position.

As the lifeboat approached, it became apparent that the young girl was beginning to tire and had difficulty reaching the lifeboat. One of the crew volunteers entered the water and swam to her to keep her afloat and help her towards the lifeboat.

Once on board, a first aid assessment was carried out. She was tired and cold but didn’t seem to need medical attention.

The lifeboat was placed in shallow water before a crew member helped the girl to shore where she was released to her parents and the Skerries Coast Guard Unit .

The lifeboat then picked up the paddle board and leash, which had separated from the board before returning to Skerries station.

Conditions at the time were force three winds from the southwest with light seas and good visibility.

Speaking about the call, volunteer Lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning, said: “Unfortunately we are seeing an increase in calls for paddle boards and kayaks.

“The breeze can blow a person away from the shore quite quickly.

“Our advice is to always wear a life jacket and carry a means of contacting the shore, even if you don’t intend to stray far from shore.”

The charity RNLI saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in Ireland and the UK. It operates 46 lifesaving stations in Ireland.

The RNLI is independent of the government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its relief service. Since the RNLI’s inception in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.


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