Two walkers were rescued by the RNLI inshore lifeboat from Dun Laoghaire shortly after midday today when the rising tide surrounded them half a mile from shore off Sandymount.
The pair raised the alarm by mobile phone to the Irish Coast Guard Dublin rescue co-ordination centre (MRCC Dublin) giving details of their difficulty. They then attempted to walk towards shore but with the water-level waist deep and rising they returned to the sandbank to await rescue. Their phone became water-logged in the fast-rising tide and with two hours to high-water, the sea-level was rising faster than walking in water-logged clothing would allow.
MRCC Dublin contacted the RNLI Inshore lifeboat (ILB) from Dun Laoghaire that was on exercise with four volunteer crew on board and requested that they proceed immediately to the scene. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter at Dublin Airport was also tasked and both arrived on scene at 12.15pm
The ILB crew walked the remaining 50-metres with life-jackets for the two walkers who were then brought by lifeboat to Dun Laoghaire. Neither was harmed though First Aid for a minor injury was given to one of the walkers. The Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard Unit attended at the RNLI station and brought the casualties back to their car at Sandymount by road.
“Walking on our local beaches is very popular but care is needed in respect of the state of tide that is constantly changing,” commented Robert Fowler, Deputy Launching Authority with Dun Laoghaire RNLI. “From low-tide to high, water-level can become several metres deep in the course of a long-walk at the waters’ edge.”
A recent risk-analysis by the RNLI for the Dun Laoghaire station indicates that walking poses one of the most significant hazards in the area with today’s incident the third of its kind to date this year.
The ILB is one of two lifeboats stationed by the RNLI at Dun Laoghaire and is ideal for operating in shallow water and close to rocks. The volunteer crew typically launch within six minutes of being paged but were already at sea today on one of two weekly routine training exercises.