Heroes buoyed by awards for saving lives
A TEENAGER has been hailed a hero after he courageously saved the lives of two children who got into difficulty while swimming.
Daniel Hughes (18) is the toast of his hometown Boyle, Co Roscommon, and is even giving close neighbour Chris O'Dowd a run for his money in the fame stakes.
Daniel was swimming in the Boyle River on July 8 when it came to his attention that two children, aged 12 and 13, were in trouble in the water.
He then swam toward them, and managed to bring them both to safety – without any regard for his own welfare.
"I swam down the river and I noticed the two kids. I just didn't think of anything else after that," said Daniel.
He went to play football that evening and said "it was only the day after when it dawned on me what I had done."
The teenager was honoured at the Irish Water Safety awards ceremony yesterday, and was one of 36 recipients of the 'Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award'.
He was accompanied to the event in Dublin Castle by his parents, brother Adam, and family friend Sean O'Dowd – actor Chris O'Dowd's father.
"Daniel is a role model for other people," said Mr O'Dowd.
Each of the 36 honoured had played a significant role in 22 separate incidents over the last number of years.
There is an average of 140 drownings in Ireland every year, and in 2012 that figure rose to 147. The warm weather this summer led to an increase of tragic incidents, with 12 drowning over a period of a fortnight in July.