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RNLI Called Out to 'Forty Foot' Swimmer on Dublin Bay

18th November 2018
Dun Laoghaire's RNLI inshore lifeboat was called out to a swimmer on Dublin Bay today. Lifeboat cre onboard were (left to right) Damien Payne, Laura Jackson and PJ Gallagher Dun Laoghaire's RNLI inshore lifeboat was called out to a swimmer on Dublin Bay today. Lifeboat cre onboard were (left to right) Damien Payne, Laura Jackson and PJ Gallagher

Dun Laoghaire's RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked to a swimmer this morning by Dublin Coastguard in choppy conditions on Dublin Bay.

Launching into rough conditions on Scotsman's Bay, the small D class boat, with three RNLI lifeboat crew onboard, made its way to a position off the Forty Foot bathing spot on the south side of Dublin Bay where a number of swimmers and canoeists were braving the Winters waters in the relative shelter of Sandycove Harbour.

DBSC Turkey shoot sailing 0481Rough conditions at the Forty Foot bathing place Photo: Afloat.ie

Dun Laoghaire's D class lifeboat is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than the RNLI all-weather lifeboats that is also on station at Dun Laoghaire. The D class comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

On scene, off the Forty Foot, the RNLI boat assisted a swimmer in difficulty to the shore and the outcome could have been more serious without their intervention.

As noted by Dun Laoghaire Coastguard, the experienced swimmer put into action the advice given by the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI in recent PR campaigns, in which the swimmer did not panic, did not fight the water & floated on their back, while awaiting for assistance.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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Forty Foot Swimming Spot on Dublin Bay

The 'Forty Foot' is a rocky outcrop located at the southern tip of Dublin Bay at Sandycove, County Dublin from which people have been swimming in the Irish Sea all year round for 300 years or more. It is popular because it is one of few spots between Dublin city and Greystones in County Wicklow that allows for swimming at all stages of the tide, subject to the sea state.

Forty Foot History

Traditionally, the bathing spot was exclusively a men's bathing spot and the gentlemen's swimming club was established to help conserve the area.

Owing to its relative isolation and gender-specific nature it became a popular spot for nudists, but in the 1970s, during the women's liberation movement, a group of female equal-rights activists plunged into the waters and now it is also open to everyone and it is in the control of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Many people believe that swimming in extremely cold water is healthy and good for the immune system.

Is it safe to swim at the Forty Foot?

The Forty-Foot is a great place to swim because there is always enough water to get a dip but like all sea swimming, there are always hazards you need to be aware of.   For example, a lot of people like to dive into to the pool at the Forty-foot but there are submerged rocks that can be hazardous especially at low water.  The Council have erected signs to warn people of the underwater dangers. Other hazards include slippy granite cut stone steps that can often be covered with seaweed and of course marine wildlife including jellyfish that make their presence felt in the summer months as do an inquisitive nearby Sandycove seal colony.

The Forty-foot Christmas Day swim

A Dublin institution that brings people from across Dublin and beyond for a dip in the chilly winter sea. Bathers arrive in the dark from 6 am and by noon the entire forty foot is a sea of red Santa hats!

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