Teacher mugged and thrown in icy canal
Published 22/01/2014 | 06:17
AN Irish teacher is lucky to be alive after being mugged and thrown into a canal during a holiday in Amsterdam.
Ronan Kennedy (27) thanked a mystery stranger who pulled him from the water and gave him the kiss of life.
Mr Kennedy was doing a whistle-stop tour of European cities before flying back to Australia, where he teaches woodwork at a Catholic college in South Morang, Victoria.
He arrived in the Dutch capital on Monday following visits to Paris and Bruges.
“I’m lucky to be alive today,” said Mr Kennedy, from Killybegs in Co Donegal.
“I was attacked by a mugger and thrown into a canal in Amsterdam. I couldn’t get out myself — it was so cold.
“I didn’t last long. I owe my life to the Dutch person who dragged me out of the canal and resuscitated me.”
The teacher paid tribute to the Amsterdam emergency services for arriving on the scene within minutes “and the hospital doctors and nurses for looking after me all night”.
Mr Kennedy’s Australian phone was destroyed in the incident, and he was only able to tell family and friends about his ordeal through his Facebook page after he was released from hospital.
“Amsterdam is a great city — I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Ronan, who had spent New Year skiing with friends from Donegal in Italy.
Some of his friends initially thought that the teacher’s near-death experience was a prank he had pulled.
But Ronan insisted: “Unfortunately, I’ve got the hospital |bill to prove it, which the insurance company will be getting when I get back to Australia.”
He is due to fly back to his adopted home today via Singapore.