The swimmer, said to have been in his early 30s, was left stranded two and a half miles away from Tralee Bay in the Republic of Ireland on Sunday. The poorly prepared Irishman was found after 12 hours stranded in the freezing waters wearing nothing more than swimming trunks.
On rescuer on-hand said: “He was only wearing a pair of trunks.
“He had no wetsuit. Nothing.”
The Irish RNLI respondent also recalled that when he and his colleagues eventually located the unnamed swimmer, he was surrounded by “a lot of dolphins”.
He said: “Maybe they helped him in some way or another: who knows?.”
A Fenit RNLI lifeboat picked up the hapless hypothermic at 8.15pm on Sunday.
The swimmer informed rescuers he intended to swim out to Mucklaghmore Rock, more than 5 miles away from where he set off at Castlegregory beach.
Fenit RNLI volunteer Jackie Murphy reportedly said it was a “miracle” the swimmer survived and hailed coxswain, Finbarr O’Connell, with his rescue.
Mr O’Connell was credited with rescuing the individual after he estimated the location of the swimmer by utilising his knowledge of the tidal patterns in the area.
“We are all just elated.”
He added: “He was very, very lucky.
“There is no doubt about it.
“Another half an hour, and he was a goner.
“None of us or the medics can believe he survived it.”