An Irish viral sensation who became famous after a hilarious news interview had to be rescued after a 12-hour ordeal at sea, in which he was surrounded by dolphins and contracted hypothermia.
Ruairí McSorley, from a small village in Derry, shot to stardom when he quipped “you wouldn’t be long getting frostbit” during a news interview whilst he walked to school in icy weather in 2015.
He went on to become an internet star all over Ireland, but his name is most recently in the headlines for his audacious attempt to swim to a lighthouse – that left him “dangerously hypothermic.”
McSorely, now 24, had to be saved 4km from the shore after he got into difficulty out at sea on a beach near Inch in County Kerry, Belfast Live reported.
The internet star was first reported missing at around 8am on Sunday after his clothes and shoes were found on the shore by a walker.
Ruairí was found by the RNLI a whole 12 hours later at 8.15pm surrounded by a pod of dolphins.
Speaking to The Irish Independent yesterday after his release from University Hospital Kerry in Tralee, he thanked those who found him.
He said: “They’re very professional and very slick. They’re incredible people, I have to say. They aren’t like doctors or paramedics – paid professionals. They’re volunteers.
“They’re definitely a great group of people, there’s no doubt.
“They wrapped me up in the blankets and took my body temperature and everything and then just rushed me into the hospital.”
Ruairí continued: “There’s no victim mentality there. Other than a bit of pain at the back of my knee, I’m 100pc. There’s no long-term damage.
“The only thing was my kidneys needed to readjust, so there has been no serious harm. It was only a matter of going into the hospital to heat up a bit. Other than that, I was fine.”
It is reported that when he was rescued, Ruairí was dangerously hypothermic but he insisted that “the only thing that is stressing me out is everybody else is panicking about it.”
“I just jumped in, and that was it.
“I saw Fenit lighthouse out in the water, and I said, right I’m going towards it. I wouldn’t have got in to start with if I didn’t know I was going to be grand,” he explained.
He told the Irish Independent there was one moment during the ordeal that be was worried about his safety.
He said: “I saw these black tails in the water, and I wasn’t sure were they dolphins or sharks.
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“I just thought to myself, maybe it wouldn’t have been the worst idea to have googled this before I jumped in, but they were just dolphins.
“They wouldn’t have done any harm to you. I’d no problem with them.
“They were just swimming around me. If anything, they may have helped me. It was definitely an experience.”
The Derry man used his humour to make light of the situation, even from the first moment he was rescued by the RNLI.
“Apparently, the first thing I said to them was, ‘I’ll not have to pay for this, will I?’”
“Was I frightened? Fear is all in the mind,” he said.
By email@example.com (Sophie McLaughlin, Leigh Mcmanus)