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RNLI Lifeguards Rescue Kitesurfer On Benone Strand

19th July 2015
RNLI Lifeguards Rescue Kitesurfer On Benone Strand

#Rescue - RNLI lifeguards came to the rescue of a kitesurfer who got into difficulty on Benone Strand yesterday morning (Saturday 18 July).

At 11.40am, senior lifeguard Liam Mullan and lifeguard Beth Montgomery were monitoring the beach from the RNLI hut when they spotted a person in the water around 400m to the left of the red-and-yellow-flag zone.

The tide was going out at the time and there was a 2-3ft surf building. Weather conditions were described as overcast and warm but there was a strong south westerly wind blowing.

Mullan made radio contact with lifeguard Alex McLaughlin who was patrolling the beach from the RNLI’s four-wheel truck.

Using his binoculars, McLaughlin observed that the kite was down and the surfer was afloat in the water struggling to get back up as the strong wind was pulling him out to sea.

Liam Mullan immediately launched the rescue water craft assisted by fellow lifeguard Sean Mullan and made his way into the water to rescue the man.

On first assessing the kite surfer was okay, Liam then advised him how to safely position his kite to ensure it wouldn’t catch any more wind and pose any further danger.

The man then climbed on to sled on the back of the rescue water craft and was returned back to shore. Mullan and Montgomery then returned to the water and retrieved the kite.

"The quick actions of the lifeguards averted something more serious happening today," said Liam Mulla following the rescue. "The man who got into difficulty got caught out as the wind died momentarily and he was finding it difficult to get the kite back into the air.

"The situation could have been dangerous as the casualty was been quickly brought out to sea by the strong offshore winds."

Mullan added that "RNLI lifeguards are skilled and trained to deal with these situations when they arise and our recent exercises with the Irish Kite Surfing Association was particularly useful today as we were able to advise the casualty how to safely position his kite.

"We would always remind anyone who gets into difficulty in the water to try and remain calm, raise their arm and wave for help. Thankfully, we were on scene quickly today and able to bring the man safely to shore."

Published in Rescue
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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