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RNLI lifeguards rescue kite surfer on Benone Strand

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At 11.40am Senior Lifeguard Liam Mullan and lifeguard Beth Montgomery were monitoring the beach from the RNLI hut when they spotted a person in the water approximately 400m to the left of the red and yellow flag zone.

The tide was going out at the time and there was a 2-3ft surf building. Weather conditions were described as overcast and warm but there was a strong south westerly wind blowing.

Liam made radio contact with lifeguard Alex McLaughlin who was patrolling the beach from the RNLI’s four wheel truck.

Using his binoculars, Alex observed that the kite was down and the surfer was afloat in the water struggling to get back up as the strong wind was pulling him out to sea.

Liam immediately launched the rescue water craft assisted by fellow lifeguard Sean Mullan and made his way into the water to rescue the man. On first assessing the kite surfer was ok, Liam then advised him how to safely position his kite to ensure it wouldn’t catch any more wind and pose any further danger.

The man then climbed on to sled on the back of the rescue water craft and was returned back to shore. Liam and Beth then returned to the water and retrieved the kite.

Speaking following the rescue, Senior Lifeguard Liam Mullan said: ‘The quick actions of the lifeguards averted something more serious happening today. The man who got into difficulty got caught out as the wind died momentarily and he was finding it difficult to get the kite back into the air. The situation could have been dangerous as the casualty was been quickly brought out to sea by the strong offshore winds.

‘RNLI lifeguards are skilled and trained to deal with these situations when they arise and our recent exercises with the Irish Kite Surfing Association was particularly useful today as we were able to advise the casualty how to safely position his kite.’

‘We would always remind anyone who gets into difficulty in the water to try and remain calm, raise their arm and wave for help. Thankfully, we were on scene quickly today and able to bring the man safely to shore.

Photo Credit : RNLI

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