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Monday, 20 January 2014
Hero hailed again after second river rescue in a year
A young man is being hailed a hero after helping to save a drowning woman – a year after rescuing a man at the same spot.
Craig Reay was in the right place at the right time again when he and pal Ciaran Flynn spotted the stricken victim being swept away early on Sunday.
The friends had been walking home at 4am across St Dominic’s Bridge in Drogheda, Co Louth, when they heard a splash and saw the young woman being dragged out to sea by the fast-flowing River Boyne.
They managed to throw three lifebuoys to the woman to stop her from going under.
Craig, 25, said: “We could hardly see her in the dark and just ran to get a lifebuoy. We got one but we knew it wouldn’t reach her because she was nearly in the middle of the river.
“She was being brought away by the force of the water and I then ran down along to where Bru (restaurant) is.
“The river was flying and the woman was going under but I managed to throw a ring to her.
“Ciaran managed to flag down a Boyne River Rescue patrol which was going by and they had a boat there quickly.”
Gardai and Drogheda Coastguard were also on the scene within minutes to help save the woman.
Craig added: “A garda patrol was going by and saw Ciaran and stopped, I think they thought he was going to vandalise the lifebuoy.
“But when they saw what was happening they launched the rescue operation.”
Craig, who was involved in a similar rescue last March, said the river was badly flooded after almost 12 hours of torrential rain.
A member of Boyne River Rescue got to the woman who was then taken on board the Coastguard boat.
She was unconscious when taken from the water but was resuscitated by crew members.
This is the second time in the last year that Craig has been involved in a dramatic river rescue.
Last November he received a Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award at the Irish Water Safety’s National Awards Ceremony in Dublin Castle.
He was honoured for throwing a lifebuoy to a drowning man in March last year at almost the same spot as yesterday’s rescue.
In a report on the incident, Drogheda Coastguard said they responded to a call from Gardai who reported a female in the river at the Haymarket bridge.
The report states: “Drogheda Coastguard boat was quickly launched. Upon arrival the casualty was being assisted by a member of the Boyne river rescue.
“Both were taken on board DCG boat and brought back to Horse Lane. The casualty was unresponsive and not breathing when taken on board.
“CPR was carried out by the crew until thankfully she started breathing for herself and regained conciseness.”
The woman is now recovering in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in the town.
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