Teenager kept afloat by RNLI volunteers for 40 minutes after jet-ski accident

Girl who was being towed in inflatable thought to have suffered back injuries

Coast Guard volunteers treaded water for 40 minutes while holding a teenage girl with suspected spinal injuries above the water line following a jet-ski accident on Friday afternoon.

The girl had been in an inflatable “doughnut” towed by the jet ski when it is thought to have broken down.

Although precise details of what happened are unclear, three responding RNLI volunteers from the Courtown lifeboat unit in Wexford believed the girl to have suffered possibly serious injuries to her back.

The incident was reported to the Coast Guard at about 4.30pm on Friday from a beach at Ardamine, just south of Courtown.


Due to the nature of the suspected injuries, two of the volunteers held her as flat and steady as possible above the water for 40 minutes until they could be assisted by a suitably equipped offshore Coast Guard boat.

Once stabilised, she and the driver of the jet ski were airlifted by helicopter to Waterford Regional Hospital for treatment. Their conditions were unknown.

The efforts of the volunteers in challenging circumstances were praised by the Dublin Coast Guard.