Seven real life heroes from Donegal are to be honoured by the Irish Water Safety Association tomorrow for their brave rescues from sea and rivers.
It’s the highest number from any county in Ireland. A total of 32 people will receive the Seiko Just in Time Award at Dublin Castle for their quick thinking and effective actions which prevented 36 people from drowning.
The dramatic incidents are outlined below.
On July 19, Sarah Hill and four friends - Patrick Cassidy, Oisin Kerr, Michael Hurst and Sean Heeney - decided to climb the cliffs close to Creevy Pier, known as “The Titanic”. Sarah accidentally fell down the 14ft cliff and somersaulted into the water. Her friends, Oisin and Sean, came to her aid and got her safely out of the water while Patrick and Michael ran for help. Sarah had received extensive injuries and the first responder treatment she received from Oisin and Sean was exceptional. She spent some time in hospital and made a full recovery. The heroic efforts of all four boys saved Sarah’s life.
On March 21, Garda Shane McGee was alerted to a report that a man had jumped into the River Swilly in Letterkenny. Without hesitation Garda McGee went to the river and, observing a person in difficulty, he entered the water and bravely brought the person out of the water to safety. Although the person was saved, he tragically died three days later.
On September 23, a local taxi driver alerted the Gardaí to a woman who had entered the water at Oldtown Bridge in Letterkenny. Garda Coliln Dodd rushed to the scene and entered the water and upon reaching the woman, brought her to safety. The woman was taken to hospital where she made a full recovery.
On July 8, at Pollan Beach, Ballyliffen, local surf Instructor Dan Gallanagh managed to bring to safety a mother and her two sons, as well as a another local woman. The mother and her two sons were swept out into the bay by a strong current. When a local woman tried to rescue them, she too got into difficulty in the water. Without hesitation, Dan entered the water on a surf board and paddled out. Upon reaching the first woman he managed to get her onto the back of the board and paddled further on out to the other three people. Dan instructed the mother to hold onto his leg with one arm and to hold onto her two sons on the board with her other arm. Dan then managed to bring all four people to safety.