Exactly one week after he was passed out as a helm on Kinsale’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Miss Sally Anne Baggy II, 21-year-old Jonathan Connor rescued a swimmer from the sea close to Sandycove Island in Co Cork.
Miss Sally Anne Baggy II was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard just after 8am yesterday (Wednesday 15 May) when three swimmers reported that the fourth member of their party was missing.
Jonathan — who, along with fellow volunteer Lenny Fourie, was passed out as an RNLI helm last Wednesday 8 May — knew time was of the essence as the swimmer had been in the water for a considerable length of time.
Using his RNLI training and local knowledge, Jonathan quickly located the swimmer and in under 15 minutes had brought him to safety.
The swimmer, who displayed signs of exhaustion and hypothermia, was treated by paramedics at the lifeboat station and was able to return home.
Jonathan, a student at CIT, is one of the youngest helms in the RNLI fleet but is already an experienced sailor and a qualified commercial diver.
Kinsale RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Gould said: “Time was of the essence today and thankfully the swimmer is safe and well and we wish them a speedy recovery. It was a baptism of fire for Jonathan but he ran a textbook operation.
“As always in the RNLI, it was down to teamwork, but Jonathan showed great leadership. He worked very hard to earn his place as a helm, and his training has paid off. We are all very proud of him.”