11 September 2018, 8.20pm
By Bryan Smyth
Baltimore RNLI was called out this morning (Tuesday 11 September) to a swimmer who was reported missing on a swim from Skibbereen to Baltimore, West Cork.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 9.42am to search the Ilen River, running between Skibbereen and Baltimore, for a swimmer that was reported missing. A safety boat accompanying the swimmer lost visual contact with him during a squall on the river, north of Inishbeg, and when he was unable to locate him he called the coast guard for assistance.
The inshore lifeboat with three volunteer crew onboard, helm Jerry Smith and crew members David Ryan and Colin Rochford, proceeded to the last known location of the swimmer, searching up the river from Baltimore towards that point. Assisting in the search were Toe Head Coast Guard, Coast Guard rescue helicopter 115 and An Garda Siochana. At 10.31am the Baltimore all-weather lifeboat with coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Emma Lupton, Aidan Bushe, Ronnie Carthy and Simon Duggan, were also requested to join the search. Shortly after launching, the all-weather lifeboat deployed their smaller y-boat with crew members Aidan Bushe and Sean McCarthy in order to search the narrower channels of the river.
At 11.10am Mizen Head Coast Guard informed all rescue agencies that the swimmer had made his way safely to shore, and all were to stand down.
The lifeboats returned to station, arriving at 11.35am. In attendance at the lifeboat station were Rianne Smith, Youen Jacob, John McDonough, Pat Collins, Kieran O’Driscoll and Kate Callanan
Conditions at the time were calm with a westerly force 3 wind and good visibility.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This was a great example of multiple rescue agencies working together and thankfully ended with a good outcome. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’