There have been two call-outs – yesterday and today – for the Coast Guard to rescue swimmers in Myrtleville.  We have been contacted and asked to make it very clear that while the emergency services are always available to help, each person must make every effort not to create unnecessary emergencies.  The rescuers are also being placed at risk by bad individual decision making. 

Every swimmer must swim only within their own abilities.  If that is five or ten metres off the beach – that’s still sea swimming.  You do not need to go out even to Buoy One or out of your depth.   You should not get into the water or swim any distance simply because someone else is already in there or because you are with others who are going in. 

Each individual swimmer has to take personal responsibility for their own safety and be aware that your actions can cause yourself and others to be put in danger.  If you are in any way unsure of your ability to safely complete a swim – do not attempt the swim.  Be honest with yourself.  Make decisions that are safe for you and do not feel pressurised just because others are doing any particular swim distance.


Rough water exits – or maybe “Just don’t do it”

The sea was rough last week and we’re heading into Winter, when rough water and waves will be much more common.  Swimming in the waves is often touted as great crack – no question. 

Getting in and getting out of the waves is not quite so much fun and is potentially dangerous. 

We’re very lucky in Myrtleville to have a sandy, safe exit most of the time.  There are rocks, and occasionally thick loose seaweed however, and even on sand a wave can hit and flip you very easily.  That’s painful – and dangerous.  Think before you get in and think very hard about how you’ll get out.  It’s too late to do that when you’re in the waves and find the undertow is pulling you out.

Donal Buckley on has done a very detailed series on this and I’m going to point everyone there.  However, I’m going to copy a couple of his lines below – just as a summary. 


  • You should not be getting into open water before you know where or if you can safely exit.
  • You should not let others decide for you if exit conditions are safe.
  • Alternatively you should not get into the water simply because someone else is already in there.
  • A corollary of these statements is that you should not be getting in the water in anticipation that a safe exit will somehow present itself once you have entered the water.

Swim safe – which can mean “don’t swim today”.  If it looks a bit dodgy to get in, it’ll be a lot worse to get out 🙂

Presentation by Myrtleville Swimmers to RNLI

We were delighted this morning to present €3,700 to Ian Venner of Crosshaven RNLI, the proceeds of the Myrtleville Swimmers Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim. Looking forward to 2023 to make a further contribution. Sincere thanks to everyone who donated, participated, supported and assisted in any way.

Presentation of €3,700 by Damian O'Neill and Bernard Lynch on behalf of Myrtleville Swimmers to Ian Venner of RNLI Crosshaven.
Presentation of €3,700 by Damian O’Neill and Bernard Lynch on behalf of Myrtleville Swimmers to Ian Venner of RNLI Crosshaven.


In response to a number of enquiries – NO, you can not just give your entry to a friend and we can not facilitate transfers. There is a good reason we ask for an emergency contact on each entry. Think about the consequences if the wrong contact details are on our records in the event of an emergency.

Please, people, you will be donating €20 to the RNLI by cancelling your entry if you are unable to attend. A fake transfer to your buddy is not the way to go. Don’t have a situation where you arrive at the registration desk and use someone else’s name to get a timing chip. Really? For €20?

If you are determined to be involved on the night and don’t have an entry we really need more volunteers to help. Get involved that way.

Anyone for the last few choc ices?

It had to come. With more people going to Myrtleville for a daily swim than you’d see at some inter-county matches, the hawkers were bound to turn up. “Hats, flags, scarves and headbands!! Quality here!! Last few choc ices!!”. We’re all used to it in Thurles etc., it was only a matter of time before they followed the crowds. They’re fierce adaptable too, the hawkers. They suss out the market and have the right gear to sell.

Casual traders, as they’re officially known. Under the Casual Trading Act 1995, a casual trading licence is a requirement to sell goods on the public road. It is an offence under this Act to trade without a valid casual trading licence.

Can ye see it? The loophole? The giant gap that Del Girl Staunton has leapt through? “…..public ROAD”. “Oh no, Guard, of course we’re not selling goods on the road. We’re on the beach.” “T-SHIRTS!!! GET YER T-SHIRTS!!! QUALITY HERE!!”

FFS, you can’t get down the steps without either being accosted about which colour you want, or having to wait for another photo-shoot of victims making the most of their purchases – or at least checking that what’s in the bag is what they wanted. Don’t be thinking you can bring it back if it’s wrong. As John Sullivan sang in the OFAH theme, “No income tax, no VAT, no money back, no guarantee.”

Some poor fellas thought they were getting their normal sizing (XXL) but wound up showing off their curves a bit more than expected, like. I mean, there’s no way this is XXL, is there? Definitely counterfeit size tagging going on here. (Note: image obfuscated to protect the identity of the victim, who is liaising with Gardai. Also, to hide the fact that it’s Bernard).

Don’t be encouraging this activity at the beach. Down with the hawkers. Watch what you buy! (Is my ink blue one ready, by the way, Siobhan?).

Entrepreneurs never miss a promotional opportunity

Daithí O Sé from RTE’s Today show came for a dip in Myrtleville this morning. His Sherpa for the adventure was our own Benard (yes, that Bernard – Bernard Bernard, like) but an issue was noted before filming commenced. Bernard was wearing a hat from his English Channel swim with a prominent logo of a business with which he is associated (Centra, like, as ye all know). No free advertising, says the RTE lady. No bother, says Bernie, and off comes the hat. No need for any hassle. Don’t want to ruin the beautiful morning.

Then along comes Jim. No way he was missing out on free advertising for his new venture. N.F.W. Into the picture struts Jim – click, click: priceless. He was saying orders were slow on the phone line. This will boost things no end. 1800-JIMBUOYS.

Jim Buoys now for sale to the general public

Swim buoys or swim / tow floats are an essential piece of safety equipment for Open Water Swimmers – but how safe are they in reality? How robust? Would they really keep you afloat in a crisis? These doubts, which have assailed many swimmers, can now be assuaged by using the new-to-the-market, flotation-guaranteed, Jim Buoy (TM – Patent Pending).

Developed using all his Naval skills by Lieutenant Commander (Ret’d) James Shalloo, the Jim Buoy is made of fierce tough plasticy stuff and with a rope on it that’d hold a bull in field of heifers. You’re safe as houses with one of these lads on ya.

C’mdr Shalloo with the Model X Jim Buoy – now on the market for all safety-conscious swimmers

To order, contact Jim directly on 1800-JIMBUOYS. He’s waiting to take your call.

What about De Buoys?

Just to make everyone aware…..most of you will have seen our buoys have taken a battering over the last two years – especially those further out. Work is under way to replace and repair the damage our storms have caused. Four broke from its mooring and was unfortunately holed by the Dutchman on its way to land at Fennell’s Bay. We’re looking into a temporary repair on that. Five is either dieting or sucking it in, but is definitely showing signs of distress – and thinning.

We are very pleased to say that Cork County Council have agreed to fund the purchase of two new buoys to replace Four and Five. We will then see if Five can be repaired and kept as a spare. The lead time on the new buoys was six to twelve weeks. We ordered two weeks ago, so hopefully June at the latest.

The rope on Three has frayed to three strands (from four). This was tied up by Marcus and Dave this morning and we are looking at a temporary fix on that until Marc Lake has his boat back in the water in April to do a full service on all buoys.

Thanks again to Cork County Council for their ongoing support. Keep swimming – safely.

Bernard & Damian