‘Frostbit Boy’ identified as swimmer rescued off Co Kerry coast

Ruairí McSorley was found surrounded by dolphins 4km off Castlegregory beach

McSorley previously came to prominence in 2015 after  interview to UTV walking to school in the snow which subsequently went viral. Photograph: YouTube

McSorley previously came to prominence in 2015 after interview to UTV walking to school in the snow which subsequently went viral. Photograph: YouTube

 

A swimmer who was rescued off the coast of Co Kerry on Sunday night has been identified as Ruairí McSorley, who previously went viral online for a TV interview he gave in 2015 in which he became known as “Frostbit Boy”.

Mr McSorley (24), who is originally from Co Derry, was released from University Hospital Kerry (UHK) on Tuesday.

Fenit RNLI and Rescue 115 were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard at 11am on Sunday after clothes were discovered at Castlegregory beach by a dog walker.

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a head above water hours later at 8.30pm and took the swimmer onboard an all-weather lifeboat.

Mr McSorley told the Irish Independent he was feeling “100 per cent” after the incident with “no long-term damage”.

“The only thing was my kidneys needed to readjust, so there has been no serious harm. It was only a matter of going into the hospital to heat up a bit. Other than that, I was fine,” he told the newspaper.

Fenit island

Mr McSorley had been staying at the Seaside caravan park close to Inch beach and decided to swim out to what he believed was Fenit island, but didn’t tell friends or family as it was a spur of the moment decision.

“I just jumped in, and that was it,” he said. “I saw Fenit lighthouse out in the water, and I said, right I’m going towards it. I wouldn’t have got in to start with if I didn’t know I was going to be grand.”

He added that he saw “black tails in the water” and was unsure whether they were sharks or dolphins.

“I just thought to myself, maybe it wouldn’t have been the worst idea to have googled this before I jumped in, but they were just dolphins,” he said.

Mr McSorley previously came to prominence in 2015 after he gave an interview to UTV walking to school in the snow which subsequently went viral.

During the interview, which has millions of views online, Mr McSorley said “you wouldn’t be long getting frostbit”.

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a pod of dolphins and a head above the water about 4km off Castlegregory beach at 8.30pm on Sunday.

Gerard O’Donnell, Fenit RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said that “after a long and exhaustive search, members of the lifeboat crew were overjoyed to see the missing swimmer in the water.

“They had been scanning the water for any sign of movement and were worried with light fading that they would not find anyone,” he said.