Five Teenagers Carry Out RIB Rescue off County Cork

The teenagers were quicker to the scene than the RNLI Crosshaven lifeboat, above (file image courtesy RNLI)

Published Aug 23, 2020 9:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

Five 16-year-olds are winning accolades from search-and-rescue professionals after rescuing a man who was clinging to a buoy off Fountainstown Beach, south of Crosshaven, Ireland.

At about 1930 hours, the Valentia Coast Guard center called for assistance in responding to a report of two people in the water off Fountainstown. A nine-year-old boy had been swept out on the current and his father had swum out in order to rescue him; the boy made it back to shore with the assistance of a kayaker, but the father was left clinging to a marker buoy. 

In response, the Valentia Coast Guard put out a pan-pan call on VHF and dispatched a rescue helicopter out of Waterford, along with the Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat and the Crosshaven Coast Guard. 

While these assets were en route, five teenagers who were out fishing in a RIB heard the pan-pan call over VHF and went to the scene. They brought the father on board and took him ashore. Both the man and his son were evacuated by helicopter for a medical check-up. 

Three of the five teenagers are related to RNLI volunteer lifeboatmen. 

"Crosshaven RNLI commends the five youngsters for acting so professionally and swiftly in rescuing the casualty in need. Our future is safe in their hands," the agency said in a statement. “They had the right gear and were listening to the radio, and paying attention to the right channel. They responded exactly as you would want. They showed remarkable presence of mind and deserve huge credit."