A MAN and woman had almost given up hope of survival yesterday as they stood trapped on a sandbank a mile off shore with the incoming tide rising up to their necks.
The near double tragedy happened a mile off Sandymount strand in Dublin, a notorious stretch of coastline known for its fast-moving incoming tides.
Two vital coincidences played a major part in the two people escaping with their lives.
A person on the coast line spotted what was happening and an Air Corps helicopter was on a routine winching exercise in Dublin Bay.
The alert was raised shortly before 2.20pm. The Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Dublin organised the rescue mission after a request from the gardai.
Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard unit was dispatched to the area to pin-point a location for the crew of the Air Corps AW139 helicopter.
An Air Corps spokesman said it was thought the two people were walking the coast when they were swept into the sea by the tide
It is understood that when the alert initially went out, the sea had risen to chest height. When the chopper cut through the skies over them, the water level was up to their necks.
They were airlifted to Tallaght hospital and were later said to be in a stable condition.