Fermanagh footballers’ ‘panic’ in Donegal rip current

A group of youth footballers rescued from a rip current in the water near Bundoran, County Donegal, have talked of their ‘panic’.

Members of the Fermanagh Super Cup team entered the water after training on Tullan Strand on Saturday morning.

Team Captain Jake Irvine said the players found it difficult to move after they had entered the water and “started to panic”.

He paid tribute to the surfers who helped the team back to dry land.

Over 15 calls were made to the emergency services about the incident.

None of the players were seriously injured.

Owen Murphy, one of the surfers who helped rescue the footballers said: “I stripped down to my undies and hopped in with them in the water.

“When I swam around the corner I could see there were about nine of them.

“I then shouted at the cliff to get some surf boards thrown down in order to help and to use as rescue aids.”

The Fermanagh Premier team’s coach Francis Shaw said that without the surfer’s help, things could have been very different.

“Thankfully this is one case where all’s well, ends well, but we could have been looking at a very different scenario,” he said.

“Due to the combination of cool heads, good fortune and bravery, thankfully we’re not.”

RNLI’s Shane Smyth shared the following advice.

“If you get caught in a rip tide, try not to panic and try and stay calm.

“Don’t swim against the rip – try and swim parallel to the short to try and get out of the rip

“Once you feel safe and comfortable enough that you’ve done that, raise your hand and shout for help.”

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