Tuesday 26 September 2017

RTE broadcaster rescued by beach lifeguards

Sean Ban Breathnach
Sean Ban Breathnach

Pat Flynn

VETERAN RTE broadcaster Seán Bán Breathnach had to be rescued by a lifeguard after he got into difficulty while swimming.

Seán Bán is in Co Clare this week where he is broadcasting for Radio Na Gaeltachta from the annual Willie Clancy Summer School.

It's understood he went to the beach at nearby Spanish Point on Monday and was enjoying a swim when he got into difficulty.

It's believed he got caught in a rip current and struggled to remain afloat. The lifeguards on duty observed that Mr Breathnach was in difficulty and raced to assist him.

He was helped ashore but didn't require any medical attention.

Mr Breathnach turned up for his radio programme yesterday none the worse for his ordeal.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "It was nothing really. I wasn't out of my depth, I was just bobbing up and down. I was only out a few feet and the lifeguard helped me out."

Clare County Council's Water Safety Development officer Liam Griffin confirmed that the lifeguards at Spanish Point dealt with a record number of incidents on Monday.

"I can confirm that we had a number of rescues at Spanish Point on Monday. Spanish Point is as safe as any beach if people stay within the designated safety area.

"On Monday, a number of people got into difficulty and had to be rescued. Our lifeguards respond to people in difficulty every day. It's part of the job but with the good weather, the numbers visiting the Willie Clancy Summer School and with the schools being off, our lifeguards have been very busy," Mr Griffin said.

"I am concerned at the number of incidents we had in Spanish Point on Monday. It was the largest number we've seen at one location on one day in many years.

"I would also like to remind parents that we are not a childminding service. Parents must know where their children are at all times. If a lifeguard has to look for a missing child it's one less pair of eyes watching the water for anyone who might get into difficulty."

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