Tuesday 25 October 2016

Teenage girls rescued from drowning in dangerous rip current at Irish beauty spot

Heroes behind daring rescue found after radio appeal

Amy Molloy

Published 20/09/2016 | 12:49

Roisin Treanor and John Flannery
Roisin Treanor and John Flannery

Four teenage girls have found the heroes who saved them from drowning on Saturday after a nationwide appeal.

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John Flannery, his girlfriend Roisin Treanor and her brother Martin Treanor came to the girls’ aid after they got caught up in a rip current.

Martin Treanor
Martin Treanor

The Donegal Town girls had been swimming at Main Beach in Bundoran on Saturday when they got into difficulty.

“Four girls came down to the beach about six o’clock or after and they had got into the water but I previously had said to Roisin and Martin that we will move away from that part of the beach as there was a strong current,” Mr Flannery told Independent.ie. 

“When I looked around, within five minutes I had seen the girls had drifted out. I decided to go out to the first two on my buggy board, I was nervous but I had to help them.

“The wee girl was just shouting help and was really panicked, she was quite young. They grabbed on to the buggy board and I managed to help them back in with the work of Martin and Roisin who got a life ring and pulled us in,” he said.

Roisin Treanor
Roisin Treanor

The two other girls had drifted out further and Mr Flannery swam out with Mr Treanor to help them. Roisin Treanor, a fisherman and another body boarder who were nearby helped pull them back into shore with the life ring.

"The first two girls we helped said 'can you please help our sisters'.

“They were very lucky, it could have been a lot worse. Another five minutes and they could have been gone,” Mr Flannery said.

A call was put into Bundoran Lifeboat crew who arrived at the scene within minutes, but when they did they found that the girls had already been rescued.

John Flannery
John Flannery

The girls were airlifted to Sligo University Hospital as a precaution and released shortly after being given the all-clear.

Everything happened so quickly, they were unable to get the names of the people who saved them and decided to launch a nationwide appeal.

After hearing the appeal on the radio this morning, Mr Flannery got in contact with Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat and Rescue who have arranged for the girls to contact the trio later today.

“I suppose the main thing we should take from this is people need to be careful with rip currents, I’m just glad that they are all okay,” Mr Flannery said.

RNLI have issued the following advice for anyone who is caught in a rip current:

* Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted.

* If you can stand, wade don’t swim.

* If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.

* Always raise your hand and shout for help.

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