Rip currents are an ongoing concern on Donegal beaches - here is how to survive if you get caught in one

Bundoran RNLI offer advice on what to do if caught in a rip current

Rip current

Bundoran RNLI warn of dangers of rip currents on Donegal beaches

With no lifeguards on duty over the Bank Holiday weekend, Bundoran RNLI is on high alert.

The local lifeboat station has issued safety advice reiterating that which has already been published by the RNLI nationally. But local crews are particularly concerned about rip currents given that the town’s beaches have had a drowning tragedy and several close calls from rip currents.

Bundoran RNLI advises that: “Rip currents are strong currents running out to sea and are prevalent on Bundoran beaches. Rip currents can appear and disappear with different states of the tide but can also be permanent. We have two permanent rip currents that you should avoid. They are the right hand side of Bundoran Main Beach as you are looking out to sea (Great Northern side) and also along the cliff side at Tullan Strand (past the Fairy Bridges). We would urge people not to swim in these areas.

“If you are caught in a rip current, do not try and swim against it- instead, swim parallel to shore until you are out of the rip, then swim towards shore or raise a hand and shout for help.

"The places to swim towards if you are caught in the permanent rips currents mentioned above are; the Great Northern side of Main Beach (but be careful as it is rocky) and towards the cliffs at Tullan Strand.”

More information on how to spot and avoid rip currents and what to do if caught in one  can be found at https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/rip-currents

Bundoran RNLI is advising anyone who gets into difficulty in the weather to: 

1. Fight your instinct to thrash around- First, keep calm and try not to panic. Your instinct will be to swim hard – don’t.

2. Lean back- Lean back, extending your arms and legs, to keep your mouth and nose out of the water and your airway clear.

3. Gentle movements- If you need to, gently move your arms and legs in a sculling motion to help you float.

4. Catch your breath- Float until you can control your breathing. Do this for 60-90 seconds or until you feel calm.

5. Now think about how to get out- Only now can you think about the next steps. If you can, swim to safety. If someone is nearby, raise a hand and call for help.

If you see someone in difficulty- dial 999 and ask for the Coast Guard

More information on our Float to Live campaign can be found here https://www.respectthewater.com/

People are also reminded to respect the 5km travel restrictions.

A spokesperson for Bundoran RNLI said: “We are aware that there will be no lifeguards posted to Bundoran Main Beach or Rossnowlagh this Bank Holiday weekend. With this in mind, and the hot weather due, we ask that beach users take extra caution and please follow the advice below:

• Protect and keep an eye on your family

• Stay together and don't use inflatables

• In an emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the for the Coast Guard

Forl the latest beach safety advice see https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

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