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Snow joke Viral 'Frostbit Boy' Ruairí McSorley revealed as swimmer rescued 4km off Kerry shore

His rescuers, Fenit RNLI, were stunned to find the Derry man alive and so far out at sea, alone and surrounded by a pod of dolphins, at 8.15pm

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Ruairí McSorley at the spot where he started his swim, which lasted 12 hours and ended in rescue

Ruairí McSorley at the spot where he started his swim, which lasted 12 hours and ended in rescue

Ruairí McSorley at the spot where he started his swim, which lasted 12 hours and ended in rescue

The man rescued 4km from shore after he got into difficulty earlier this week has been identified as Ruairí McSorley - star of the viral video 'Frostbit boy'.

Mr McSorley (24), from the small village of Park, in Co Derry, told the Herald he was feeling "100pc" after his 12-hour ordeal.

Mr McSorley was first reported missing at 8am on Sunday after a walker found his clothes and shoes on a beach near Inch.

His rescuers, Fenit RNLI, were stunned to find the Derry man alive and so far out at sea, alone and surrounded by a pod of dolphins, at 8.15pm.

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Ruairí McSorley gives the thumbs up from his hospital bed in UHK.

Ruairí McSorley gives the thumbs up from his hospital bed in UHK.

Ruairí McSorley gives the thumbs up from his hospital bed in UHK.

Speaking following his release from University Hospital Kerry in Tralee yesterday, Mr McSorley paid tribute to his rescuers, the crew of Fenit RNLI.

"They are very professional and very slick.

"They are incredible people; I have to say. They aren't like doctors or paramedics (paid professionals); they are volunteers," he said.

"They're definitely a great group of people; there is 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 is adamant he is none the worse for the experience.

"There is no victim mentality there.

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"Other than a bit of pain at the back of my knee, I am 100pc.

"There is 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."

Ruairí had a moment of fame in 2015, when a clip of him walking to school as a teenager through the snow went viral and he became a global sensation.

When asked by UTV how he felt about the snow, Mr McSorley's famous words "you wouldn't be long getting frostbit," catapulted him to worldwide fame.

His interview hit 3.5 million views in three days.

Fast forward six years, and Ruairí's remarkable survival has once again made headlines.

The young man insisted he is taking the events of the past few days in his stride.

"You know to be quite honest, the only thing that is stressing me out is everybody else is panicking about it," he said.

Ruairí had been staying at Seaside caravan park close to Inch beach, in Co Kerry, when he decided to swim out to what he believed was Fenit island.

He told the Herald he did not say it to his friends or family as it was a spur of the moment decision.

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Ruairi McSorley appearing on The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O'Connor

Ruairi McSorley appearing on The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O'Connor

Ruairi McSorley appearing on The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O'Connor

"I just jumped in, and that was it," he said.

"I saw Fenit lighthouse out in the water, and I said right I am going towards it.

"I wouldn't have gotten in to start with if I didn't know I was going to be grand."

Ruairí said there was one moment during his time in the water where he grew fearful.

"I saw these black tails in the water, and I wasn't sure were they dolphins or sharks.

"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."

Ruairí spent five months in 2020 living in the Seaside caravan park.

He worked as an entertainer on cruise ships when the pandemic struck.

Rather than return home to Derry, he decided Kerry was more appealing.

"At the time of the Covid last year, there was nowhere to rent out at all anywhere, so I found this place, and I lived there for a few months," he said.

"I was only down again to lift some clothes because I'm leaving Ireland again soon."

When he was rescued, Ruairí started cracking jokes with the RNLI crew. "Apparently, the first thing I said to them was 'I'll not have to pay for this, will I?'" When he was rescued he was dangerously hypothermic.

"Was I frightened? Fear is all in the mind," he said.

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