The “Frostbit boy” from a 2015 viral video was rescued after being stranded for 12 hours in the icy waters of Tralee Bay, Ireland, on Sunday. Ruairí McSorley, 24, was stranded two and a half miles from the shore of County Kerry and was rescued by Fenit RNLI volunteers at around 8.30 pm. The rescuers spotted Mr McSorley in the waning light when they saw a pod of dolphins encircling him.
On Sunday, the rescue team found him wearing only a pair of swimming trunks and he was “hypothermic”, stated a report in The Irish News. However, he was still conscious, which was incredible to his rescuers.
According to another report in The Daily Mail, Mr McSorley had planned to swim more than 5 miles from the coast of Castlegregory beach to Mucklaghmore Rock. But he was unprepared for the task.
An Irish coastguard reportedly discovered the swimmer’s clothes on the beach and requested a rescue mission as early as 11 am on Sunday. Fenit RNLI volunteers halted their search operation in the afternoon but resumed at 6 pm. Lifeboats and helicopters were used to search the man.
RNLI volunteer Finbarr O’Connell’s knowledge of the bay’s tides and currents helped the crew to calculate the swimmer’s position. Soon, the crew spotted “a pod of dolphins about two and a half miles off Castlegregory beach.” Apparently, the dolphins weren’t aggressive. Rescuers believed that they were trying to protect the man or swim him to the shore.
The crew pulled Mr McSorley from the cold water, ferried him to the shore, and transported him to University Hospital Kerry for treatment.
Mr O’Connell told The Daily Mail, “He was very, very lucky. There is no doubt about it. Another half an hour, and he was a goner.” Another volunteer called it a “miracle” that he survived.
Mr McSorley told the Irish Independent that he was feeling “100 per cent.” He added, “The only thing was my kidneys needed to readjust, so there has been no serious harm.”
In 2015, Mr McSorley had shot to fame after a video of his had gone viral. Mr McSorley, then a teenager, had amused everyone with his funny thick Irish accent when he was asked about the snow and cold weather on his way to school.
Fenit RNLI lifeboat operations manager Gerard O’Donnell urged swimmers to take all necessary precautions to avoid being stranded at the sea. Water Safety Ireland has asked people going to the beach or in the sea to swim within their depth.