Derrynane Inshore Rescue responded to an emergency 999 phone call at 5.45pm on Thursday 9th of April. The lifeboat was tasked by Valentia MRCC .The information we initially received stated 3 persons in difficulty, a father and two children (7 & 8 years old) on the Derrynane Long Beach. Our colleagues Waterville Coast Guard Unit also responded to the incident.
DIR responded and was on scene as soon as possible. The children managed to make it to safety but the father was still in difficulty, floating out to sea in the dangerous rip-current located on Derrynane long beach. The crew picked up the father, administered first aid and returned him to his eagerly awaiting family.
The family were body boarding in a dangerous part of Derrynane Beach. This location is famous for its deadly rip-current, under currents and vicious waves. Certainly not a location to bring children or to swim in general.
Luckily, this incident ended in a successful way but it could have easily result in tragedy. This incidents highlights how dangerous the Derrynane Long Beach is.
Full time Lifeguards are located on the Long Beach from June to the end of August every year. The safe bathing area the lifeguards patrol is located to the west. They do not patrol the rip current in Derrynane. Please swim between the lifeguards flags.
Do not swim in the dangerous area outlined above. This area has vicious rip currents and very strong waves. It is an area for EXPERIENCED surfers, body boarders and wave swimmers. Not for novice swimmers.
What is a rip current?
Rip currents are powerful, fast-moving channels of water (up to 8 feet per second) that typically flow from the shoreline to beyond the area where waves break. They can form on any beach or lake shore where waves are breaking, often near sandbars, jetties and piers.
Rip currents are capable of dragging even the strongest of swimmers far away from the shore, causing distress and panic.
How do I get out of a rip current?
•Keep calm. Don’t fight the rip current.
•To get out of the rip current, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. This will get you out of the rip current so you can swim back in with the waves helping you along.
•When out of the rip current, swim at an angle away from the rip current and toward shore.
•If you can’t escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water. Rip current strength eventually weakens offshore. When it does, swim away from the rip current toward shore.
•If at any time you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
With summer approaching Derrynane Beach is set to be very busy. This incident has highlighted the dangers of rip currents on Derrynane Long Beach. Please share this post on Facebook and lets prevent a potential tragedy.
Well done to call crew involved in the callout. Your training and dedication has resulted in a life being saved.
Derrynane Inshore Rescue is a voluntary organisation. We depend on the donations from the general public. Please donate on this website to insure this vital service is available to the next person who may need our assistance.