FIFTEEN people, both students and staff attending the Irish College, Coláiste Mhachaire Rabhartaigh, were rescued yesterday when they got into difficulty while swimming off Magheroarty pier.
The Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, Rescue 118, airlifted 10 people to hospital in Letterkenny after the group were swept out to sea. The operation was coordinated by the Malin Head Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre, who received several emergency calls reporting persons in difficulty off the coast. On scene support was also provided by the Tory Ferry Queen of Aran and Mulroy Coast Guard Unit.
A Spokesperson for the Coast Guard acknowledged that this was a very lucky outcome and thanked the public for speedily alerting the Coast Guard rescue services. They said the helicopter crew deserve special commendation for their efficient response to a difficult challenge as do staff in Malin Head for coordinating the operation with a successful outcome.
Gael Linn, the organisation that runs the Irish College, released a statement saying: “There was an emergency at Machaire Rabhartaigh beach this evening when 15 people, both students and college staff, got into difficulty while swimming. The Irish coastguard, together with local people and college staff assisted in the rescue and 10 people were brought to hospital for assessment. The good news is that everybody is fine and all have been discharged with the exception of the college principal who is making a good recovery.
“Gael Linn would like to thank sincerely The Irish Coastguard, Rescue 118, and all who ensured that there was a successful outcome. The parents of the students involved were contacted immediately.”