Just after 12pm the Dublin Coast Guard were alerted by a local fishing fleet that several swimmers appeared to be having difficulty returning to shore just south of Colt Island off Skerries.
The Skerries RNLI crew swiftly launched the lifeboat. The crew were already in the station attending a casualty care course when the pager sounded.
The volunteers arrived on the scene and quickly located two swimmers with a fishing vessel standing by them. The male swimmer had been dragged further out to sea than intended and, with the effects of the cold water starting to set in, was struggling to swim against a strong current. The female swimmer was in no difficulty and had gone to assist him. She was also able to tell the crew that two other swimmers who had been in the area had made it ashore themselves.
Both swimmers were taken on board the lifeboat. The female was dropped ashore to retrieve her belongings. However, the male was very cold and the crew decided he should be brought back to the station for further assessment. He was brought into the warmth of the station by members of crew on the shore who began to treat him for mild hypothermia. As a precaution, he was then checked over by our Honorary Medical Officer, Dr. Seamus Mulholland.
After a short time, the man was well enough to be on his way and our volunteers returned to their casualty care training.
Speaking after the call out, Gerry Canning, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ‘The speed of response is crucial in cases like this as the effects of cold water can cause a casualty’s condition to worsen quite quickly. You won’t get a much quicker launch than when there is already a full crew in the station training when the pagers sound.’