Girl (5) rescued off Dublin beach after being swept out to sea on inflatable

Three members of public took 20 minutes to swim back to shore at Portmarnock

A five-year-old girl swept out to sea on an inflatable device was rescued by three members of the public on Monday who took up to 20 minutes to swim back to shore.

The child was believed to have been on a lilo device of some description which was carried away from the beach at Portmarnock in north county Dublin by wind.

Members of the public contacted emergency services when she appeared to be moving out to sea but three swimmers went out after her.

It is understood she had travelled out quickly so that it took the swimmers between 15 and 20 minutes to get her back.


She received treatment from paramedics at the scene but is understood to be in good health. She was subsequently transferred to the care of the HSE by Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance crew.

The alarm was raised at about 2.20pm. The Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter, Howth Volunteer Coast Guard Unit and Howth RNLI Lifeboats all went to the scene as did Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance and fire engines from Kilbarrack and Swords.

While it is unclear what inflatable device the girl had been on, a member of the Coast Guard said many people use versions that are designed more for swimming pools and can be dangerous in open water.

The incident occurred on a day when many flocked to beaches to make the best of good weather - temperatures soared in Dublin, reaching the mid-20s in many parts.

The highest temperature recorded in Ireland on Monday was 26.6 degrees in Dublin's Phoenix Park at 3pm. Met Eireann forecasters expect the same in Leinster tomorrow, possibly reaching 27.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times