Sunday 8 December 2019

'You don't have time to think, you just act' - Brave teen rescues drowning woman in middle of the night

Dylan Murphy with his granddad Paddy Murphy who taught him lifesaving skills Credit: Dylan Murphy
Dylan Murphy with his granddad Paddy Murphy who taught him lifesaving skills Credit: Dylan Murphy

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A teen who heroically jumped into a river and pulled a drowning woman to safety has credited his beloved grandfather Paddy Murphy with his life-saving skills.

Dylan Murphy (16), a fifth year student at Colaiste Chathail Naofa in Dungarvan, dived into the River Colligan in Waterford during Storm Desmond and used lifesaving skills that his grandfather had taught him years before.

The schoolboy told that his family and friends are really proud of his actions.

"They're all delighted that a woman's life was saved," Dylan said.

"It happened on the 20th December at about 2am.

"The woman was extremely grateful, she visited me a few days later, gave me a card and said she couldn't remember anything about what had happened.

"When something like that happens you don't have the time to think, you just act," he added.

Dylan first told his story to RTE Radio One's Liveline yesterday, explaining that he had finished a shift at The Anchor Bar when another employee ran into the pub and said that a woman had fallen into the nearby river.

He immediately sprung into action.

"I was the only strong swimmer out of the lads.

"A friend handed me a life buoy and I took off my runners, pants and jumper and just jumped in.

"I swam towards the woman with the buoy in front of me so that it was facing her.

"By the time I got to her she was starting to go under.

"She was wearing a big leather bag, the type that wraps around your shoulders and a leather jacket as well," Dylan told host Joe Duffy.

The brave youngster described how he caught the drowning woman by the jacket and dragged her to safety.

"I got her to hold onto the buoy and I put the rope around her hand just in case she let go, she would still be secure," he said.

Dylan said that the rescue was carried out in very difficult swimming conditions.

The teen said that his parents, Aine and Joe Murphy and his grandparents Bridgie and Billy Joy are really proud of his instinctive actions that saved the young woman's life.

He said that his whole school were delighted about the rescue and but he joked that they haven't received any time off classes on the back of his good deed.

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