A swimmer, identified as Ruairí McSorley, who was stranded at sea for more than 12 hours, is alive today thanks to the assistance of a pod of dolphins who helped rescue him. McSorley, believed to be from Londonderry, Ireland, was rescued by Fenit Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) approximately 4 kilometers from shore at 8:15 p.m. The condition in which he was found was described as “miraculous” by the rescue group.
When McSorley was found, he was conscious but suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion. He was wearing only swimming trunks when he was pulled out of the waters of Tralee Bay.
The swimmer informed the rescuers that he had intended to swim to Mucklaghmore Rock, located 9 kilometers away from Castlegregory beach where he had started. His abandoned belongings, found on the beach, had prompted the search.
After 12 hours, RNLI coxswain Finbarr O’Connell analyzed the tides in the area and calculated the possible location where the swimmer could have ended up.
Fenit RNLI volunteer Jackie Murphy expressed amazement at how McSorley had survived the ordeal and credited O’Connell for locating him at sea, describing it as a miraculous rescue.
O’Connell mentioned that the man was surrounded by a group of dolphins when he was discovered, and later confirmed them to be bottlenose dolphins from Moray Firth in Scotland, which have been spotted off the Irish coast since 2019.
He speculated that the dolphins may have somehow aided the swimmer, saying, “Maybe they helped him in some way or another: who knows?”
The Fenit RNLI and R118 coastguard conducted an extensive search throughout Tralee Bay before eventually locating McSorley.
Despite being instrumental in finding the swimmer, O’Connell declined to take sole credit and acknowledged the excellence of his crew, saying, “It’s good to get a positive result. Normally we go out, and it mightn’t be that positive. We are all just elated.”
O’Connell noted that the situation could have been much worse if McSorley had been left stranded for an additional 30 minutes. Even the medics were astonished that he survived, but they are relieved that he did.
McSorley has since been taken to the University of Hospital Kerry for recovery.
“It is truly baffling to all of us (how he survived),” O’Connell said. “He was only wearing a pair of trunks. He had no wetsuit. Nothing. He must have been a skilled swimmer because he was just over two and a half miles (4km) from the beach.”
McSorley’s body temperature had dropped dangerously low. The swimmer stated that he had entered the water around 8 a.m., and rescuers found him at 8:15.
“He spent that amount of time in the water, and I have no idea how he managed it,” O’Connell remarked. “It’s truly incredible.”
At first, they mistook McSorley’s head in the water for a seal, but then he raised his hand.
“The joy of spotting someone floating alive in the water, instead of the other way around, is immense,” O’Connell recounted. “We’ve experienced too many negative outcomes in the past, so it was truly fantastic to rescue him.”
When asked about how he determined McSorley’s trajectory across Tralee Bay, O’Connell explained that they had been trained to handle such situations.
They use a mannequin that they toss into the water, mimicking how a person would behave in the water. They leave it there and conduct an exercise for a few hours. When they return, they assess how far it has drifted. They then pick it up and make a note on the chart regarding the direction of the tide. This knowledge was applied during the rescue.
In light of this incident, Murphy advised swimmers to be cautious when swimming in the water.
“Always make sure to inform someone of your intended time of return and your destination,” she said.
Rewritten Source: https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/dolphins-saved-the-life-of-swimmer-stranded-at-sea/