Six people were rescued by Galway RNLI yesterday afternoon after a group got into difficulty in the Galway Bay waters trying to swim to shore.
After walking to Rabbit Island at low tide, the group became stranded by the incoming tide.
A member of the public spotted a member of the group getting into the water and attempting to swim back to shore, and immediately raised the alarm.
The volunteer crew at Galway RNLI were requested to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat at 5.30pm by the Irish Coast Guard.
The lifeboat helmed by David Oliver and with crew members Brian Niland, Martin Oliver and Cathal Byrne onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to the scene approximately ten minutes from the station.
Arriving on the scene, the lifeboat crew observed six people in the water attempting to swim the quarter of a mile back to shore.
With one of the group struggling and in great difficulty, the crew first went to their rescue taking the casualty out of the water and bringing them safely onboard the lifeboat.
The crew then rescued the five others onto the lifeboat before returning them all safely back to shore at Murroogh House.
Speaking following the call-out, Barry Heskin, Galway RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said that time was of the essence, and praised the member of the public who had the foresight to raise the alarm.
He said they made a difference and helped to ensure that the crew was on scene at the right time.
“The group had walked out to Rabbit Island at low tide but then got stranded when the tide came in and their access to the mainland was cut off,” said Barry Heskin.
“It was when they attempted to swim back that they experienced difficulties. While one of the group was in danger, we were thankfully able to rescue them from the water in good time and no casualty care needed to be administered.
“We would like to wish the group well following what was a frightening experience for them.”
Barry said that before planning an activity on or near water, check the weather and tide times to ensure it is safe to proceed.
“When going out always carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back,” he said.
“We are also experiencing some spring tides at the minute, and it is very easy for people to get cut off.
“If you do happen to become stranded, don’t attempt to swim to shore yourself, rather use your means of communication to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. And if you do get into difficulty in the water, try to float to live.
“To do this, lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.”