Irish Coast Guard
A principal from Coláiste Gael Linn was among those who entered the water off the coast of Machaire Rabhartaigh on Tuesday evening to help save the lives of students who got into severe difficulty while swimming in the sea.
Fifteen lives were saved during a dramatic rescue operation that was coordinated by Derek Flanagan, the operations manager at Malin Head.
The operation involved the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter, The Mulroy Coastguard Unit, local fishing vessels and the Tory ferry, ‘The Queen of Aran.’
Ten students and a staff member, principal Ruairí MacManuis, were airlifted to Letterkenny University Hospital for observation.
All were subsequently released except for Mr MacManuis who was discharged on Wednesday.
The CEO of Gael Linn, Antoine Ó Coileáin, has thanked all those who took part in the rescue.
He said: “Gael Linn wishes to thank most sincerely the team of Rescue 118, the emergency services and the local people who brought about this successful outcome, and also the college staff of Gael Linn who managed the critical incident in a most professional and supportive manner.”
Gael Linn runs summer colleges for teenagers to learn Irish in Gaeltacht areas throughout the country.
Mr Ó Coileáin travelled from Dublin to Machaire Rabhartaigh on Wednesday where he planned to meet staff and students of the college.