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Hero firefighter saves man after fall into Liffey

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Ger Barry of the fire and rescue team from Tara Street, in Dublin. Photo: Stephen Kelly

Ger Barry of the fire and rescue team from Tara Street, in Dublin. Photo: Stephen Kelly

Ger Barry of the fire and rescue team from Tara Street, in Dublin. Photo: Stephen Kelly

Ger Barry of the fire and rescue team from Tara Street, in Dublin. Photo: Stephen Kelly

Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin

Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the public watch the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the public watch the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the public try to rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the public try to rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the emergency services rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the public try to rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

22/12/2014 Members of the public try to rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Members of the public try to rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin.

Members of the public try to rescue a man who fell into the River Liffey on Ormond Quay Dublin.

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Ger Barry of the fire and rescue team from Tara Street, in Dublin. Photo: Stephen Kelly

This is the heroic fireman who valiantly jumped into the River Liffey to rescue a member of the public who got into difficulty in the icy waters yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services responded to a call-out after reports that a man had fallen into the water shortly after 2pm in Dublin's city centre.

Amateur footage captured at the scene shows passers-by looking on as people try to reach the man in the water by throwing lifebuoys to him.

The crowd eventually swells to a few hundred as the courageous citizens' attempts to reach the man in the water fail.

As emergency crews arrive on the scene the firefighter, named as Ger Barry can be seen attaching himself to a harness before plunging into the Liffey and swimming towards the man.

Amazingly against a strong current, the fireman manages to reach the man, who had been clutching onto a post attached to the boardwalk.

Mr Barry then, with the aid of the Swift Water Rescue team, pulled the man onto a lifeboat and he was whisked away to safety.

Photographer and Dublin native Stephen Kelly, home in Ireland from New York City for Christmas, described the incident as it unfolded in front of him.

"Ger dived into the Liffey after the alarm was raised for a man fallen into the water and he brought him to safety," he said.

"A nice little fairy tale of Dublin," Mr Kelly added. (Mr Kelly kindly supplied portraits of Ger in action and afterwards which are used here.)

Eight units from the Dublin Fire Brigade, including crews from Tara Street HQ and Phibsborough station, as well as members of the Swift Water Rescue team attended the scene, which occurred between the Ha'penny Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

Gardai and paramedics also responded. The man was taken to the Mater Hospital.

The Swift Water Rescue team rescues approximately 100 people from dangerous situations each year.

People took to social networking to commend the emergency services and the members of the public who attempted to help the man.

Typical among the Tweets was this one: "Well done to DFB [Dublin Fire Brigade] with today's rescue on the River Liffey".

hnews@herald.ie


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