Tuesday 6 December 2016

Hero Emma thinks on her feet to rescue man from river

Elaine Keogh

Published 03/02/2011 | 05:00

Emma Kells, whose quick thinking enabled her to pull a man to safety from the River Boyne before he was swept out to sea, at home in Drogheda
Emma Kells, whose quick thinking enabled her to pull a man to safety from the River Boyne before he was swept out to sea, at home in Drogheda

A young female soldier credits her Army training for her cool head and clear thinking when she rescued a young man from a treacherous river.

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The frightened man, who had gone into the River Boyne in Drogheda where it runs alongside the Scotch Hall shopping centre, was rescued by Private Emma Kells just before the currents pulled him out toward the Irish Sea.

The 29-year-old signaller, who is an electronics technician based at McKee Barracks in Dublin, said: "When we do our training, you are given a situation and have a split second to assess it and act."

That's what she did when she realised that the man was being pulled quickly downstream at around 6.40pm last Thursday.

She went over the stone wall on the riverbank and jumped on to a large pipe and made her way to the bottom of steps that are set into the riverside.

She said: "I screamed his name and told him to listen to my voice and he did. He was able to make his way toward me and then when I could I grabbed him."

Emma was knee high in the water and dragged him on to the steps.

Members of the Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service were on the scene minutes later.

Emma, who has served in Chad and Lebanon with the Defence Forces, said security staff in the shopping centre told her she had just saved the young man's life, but she said: "I just think I helped him out."

Irish Independent

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