TWO DRAMATIC near death incidents in Wicklow received recognition at the Irish Water Safety's National Awards Ceremony taking place at Dublin Castle.
Mr John Perry TD, Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation presented the ' SEIKO Just in Time Rescue Award' to these rescuers in appreciation for saving so many lives.
In total 26 rescuers were recognised for the roles they played in saving 36 lives.
Among them were Gus Cooney and Deirdre Fitzgerald. On Saturday, May 26, Gus observed a man in difficulty at Glen Strand, Wicklow town. Without any hesitation Gus entered the water and with the aid of Deirdre Fitzgerald brought the man to safety. The man made a full recovery.
On the evening of August 10, at Brittas Bay North beach, a ten year old boy was playing with other children at a sand dune when it collapsed suddenly, burying the boy.
Friends Beverly Dunne and Lorraine Hann were packing up with their families when their attention was drawn to the area by a boy in distress. It became evident that there was someone trapped.
Lorraine telephoned the emergency services. Meanwhile, three friends, Arthur, Demitri and Norman immediately began digging. After approximately twelve minutes they pulled the boy to safety.
He began breathing and was taken away by ambulance. He also made a full recovery.
Last year 128 drownings occurred in Ireland, down from the annual average of 140 a year.