An off-duty Dublin firefighter and paramedic is being hailed a hero after she helped to rescue a swimmer who got into difficulty in the water on New Year’s Eve.
The male swimmer had to be rescued in Dunmore East, Co Waterford after getting into trouble at a rocky area at Counsellor’s Strand at around 9.30am.
Two members of the public came to the man’s aid by using a nearby life buoy in a bid to keep him afloat until emergency services arrived.
The Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat was launched, and the crew was on the scene within minutes.
Volunteer crew member and press officer for the RNLI in Dunmore East Neville Murphy said that the two people who thought to use the lifebuoy saved the man’s life.
"Just as we got to them a wave caught them and brought them into shore - a very timely wave and very lucky. So they managed to get into the beach themselves, and he walked away happy. A real good result."
Mr Murphy thanked the rescuers, one of whom was off-duty Swords paramedic Alex Daly, according to the organisation's twitter post. He also thanked the member of the public who rang 112 or 999 to raise the alarm.
He said the conditions at the time were very good, and he stressed the importance of always being aware of tides and never swimming alone. He also advised: "If you think someone is in danger, make the call”.
Dublin Fire Brigade added: “We are proud to hear that off-duty Swords Firefighter/Paramedic Alex Daly was instrumental in a successful sea rescue at Dunmore East earlier today.
“She spotted a swimmer in difficulty and swam to them, keeping them afloat for 20 minutes, until the arrival of Dunmore East RNLI.”
We are proud to hear that off-duty Swords Firefighter/Paramedic Alex Daly was instrumental in a successful sea rescue at Dunmore East earlier today.
She spotted a swimmer in difficulty and swam to them, keeping them afloat for 20 minutes, until the arrival of @DunmoreEastRNLI pic.twitter.com/ZPBc6Sxa92
— Dublin Fire Brigade (@DubFireBrigade) December 31, 2021
It was the first official rescue since the new Shannon Class lifeboat went into service in November. The €2.4 million all-weather vessel is the first state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat to be based in the south-east.
The lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet.
Mr Murphy said the recent rescue demonstrated its advantages:
"We had a really fast response time. We launched within six minutes of the bleepers going off and we were on scene after another two.
“That kind of response speaks for itself. As a boat it's fantastic, so easy to maneuver and operate, to get close to the shore, that's the real advantage of this boat”.