Four Donegal surf instructors will be presented with Irish Water Safety this Wednesday for their brave efforts to save nine swimmers at Tullan Strand, Bundoran.
Owen Murphy, Fergal Muller, Friederike Rost and Sean Young were the heroes of the day on 15th of July 2017 when their quick-thinking acts saved many lives.
The incident occurred when a group of nine teenagers from Fermanagh GAA minor team entered the water to cool down 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 brave actions these four rescuers will be recognized at Irish Water Safety’s National Annual Awards Ceremony at the Hibernia Conference Centre, Dublin Castle this Wednesday.
Thirty lives were saved from drowning through the brave actions of thirty rescuers who will be honoured at the event. Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural & Community Development will present the “Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award” to rescuers in appreciation for saving so many lives.
Minister Ring, whose Department has responsibility for water safety said ‘It is an honour to pay tribute to these courageous and deserving award recipients.
“Tragically an average of 133 people drown in Ireland every year and although that’s 133 too many, the figure would be even higher but for the dramatic efforts of these individuals who saved others from drowning and the ongoing work of volunteers teaching swimming and water rescue skills.”
Long-Service Volunteer Awards will also be presented to 43 volunteers, recognising a combined total of 895 years of personal service teaching swimming, water rescue and survival skills in communities nationwide.