NEWS

Donegal surf instructors who rescued nine teenagers at Tullan Strand to be recognised

Democrat Reporter

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Donegal surf instructors who rescued nine teenager ats  Tullan Strand to be recognised

Tullan Strand, where the nine teenagers were rescued.

Four Donegal Surf instructors whose quick thinking and calm skill saved the lives of nine teenagers who got into difficulty at Tullan Strand, will be recognised for their brave actions this Wednesday in Dublin at Irish Water Safety’s National Annual Awards Ceremony.

Owen Murphy, Fergal Muller, Friederike Rost and Sean Young, all from Donegal will receive the “Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award” from Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural & Community Development, in recognition of their bravery on July 15th this year.

On that day a group of nine teenagers from Fermanagh entered the water to cool down. The boys, aged 16 to 17, all part of a soccer team, had been training on Tullan Strand earlier on Saturday morning before wading into the water to cool down.

They were unaware of dangerous rip currents. Within minutes they all got into difficulty. The alarm was raised by members of the public who contacted the coast guard.

In the meantime, four local surf instructors who happened to be giving lessons at Tullan Strand quickly intervened. All four paddled to the group in difficulty, and prompted each of the teenagers to grab onto surfboards one by one. They used their knowledge of the currents to assist them to paddle over to a safer area where they could walk ashore.

Each instructor returned a number of times until all nine of the teenagers were brought to safety. Thanks to the quick thinking of Owen, Fergal, Friedericke and Sean, a major tragedy was averted.

The Donegal Democrat reported at the time that Emergency crews administered first aid to eight of the boys after they were brought to shore, and a number of them were taken to Sligo University Hospital as a precautionary measure after swallowing water and suffering cuts and bruises.

Nationwide this year 30 lives were saved from drowning thanks to the brave actions of thirty rescuers who will all receive recognition at the ceremony at the Hibernia Conference Centre, in Dublin Castle this Wednesday 29th November 2017 between 3  and4pm.

Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural & Community Development who will present the “Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award” to rescuers in appreciation for saving so many lives said:  “It only takes seconds for tragedy to strike and this can so easily be avoided if people learn about the hazards and take responsibility for their own safety. I ask that people encourage friends and family to read Irish Water Safety’s guidelines at www.iws.ie so that they have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to avoid becoming a drowning statistic. Drownings can happen quickly and silently so it is very important that people take training before pursuing aquatic activities.”