Two rescued from sea off Kirkwall after late-night swim

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Two people who went for a swim off Kirkwall in Orkney have been rescued by coastguard crews overnight after struggling in the sea for 40 minutes.

The females got into difficulty at Inganess Bay at about 01:50.

An air and sea search involving the Kirkwall coastguard rescue team and RNLI lifeboat was launched after their friend called for help.

A coastguard rescuer who swam out to reach the casualties has been praised for his bravery.

Both women were taken ashore where they were met by waiting paramedics and taken to Balfour Hospital.

During the rescue, the coastguard swimmer inhaled sea water. He was taken to hospital and was later discharged.

Andy Graham, watch assistant at Shetland Coastguard, said: “I would advise against people entering the water at night, the sea may look calm but strong currents can cause hidden dangers.

“You should always check tidal conditions and when possible swim at a beach where a lifeguard is present.

“The coastguard rescue swimmer who went in to the water should be praised for his bravery, without him the rescue tonight could have easily had a very different outcome.”

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