Man tried to swim from Cobh to Spike Island through busy shipping lane

Man tried to swim from Cobh to Spike Island through busy shipping lane
The Crosshaven RNLI rib used in the incident. Pic: Jon Mathers/RNLI

A MAN tried to swim across a major shipping lane from Cobh to Spike Island yesterday allegedly for a bet, resulting in a call out for the Crosshaven RNLI.

The man was first seen by the Cork Harbour Pilot boat in the main channel at approximately 5.30pm. The man was ordered from the water as the LE Orla was heading up the channel along with a harbour tug, but he refused to get out.

Crosshaven lifeboat crew then shadowed the swimmer until he exited the water at Cobh and rejoined his friends in the local park. Crosshaven Coast Guard rib and a rib from the LE Orla was also on scene.

It was more than an hour later before the lifeboat returned to the station and, commenting on this service, Lifeboat Launching Authority Hugh Mockler advised that anybody going swimming for any reason should have a safety back up boat. 

He added that going out alone and across shipping channels is very dangerous and the currents off Cobh are very strong. He said the man was extremely lucky he did not become a statistic.

Earlier in the afternoon the crew was also called out after a 37’ yacht with five adults and five children on board strayed outside the buoyed channel and ran aground on a spring low tide.

The yacht was only a few hundred metres from the lifeboat station and the crew were quickly on scene. The crew managed to heel the yacht over and refloat the vessel and then escorted the yacht back to Crosshaven.

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