A local man has been hailed a hero after rescuing a 12-year-old boy from the water in Passage West yesterday evening.
Kevin Power from Passage West had been kayaking twice yesterday and came home ready for a night in front of the television, he told Neil Prendeville on RedFM.
His dog started crying at the window wanting to go for a walk so he decided to take the dog out with his partner Glenda shortly after 8pm.
He said they had “no sooner walked across the road and onto the quays” when they saw a gathering of people at the dockyard.
Mr Power could see a boy “floating passed” on a pontoon but said he was too far out to reach from the water’s edge.
He told one of the boy’s friends who had a lifebuoy in his hands not to enter the water and he got his kayak from his house which is “40 seconds from the slip” while his partner stayed to make sure no one entered the water.
When he returned with the kayak, gardaí had arrived but the boy was no longer in sight.
“We didn’t know how far he had gone. There were strong winds and the tide was on the way out. So I kayaked as fast as I could out to him and got to him and calmed him down because he was in a distressed state,” Mr Power told The Echo.
He said that he was still on the pontoon and couldn’t swim so Mr Power tied the lifebuoy onto the pontoon and kayaked with it against the wind and the current “inch by inch and pulling the rope” to get it moving, 30 feet from the shore.
He landed into the side of the dockyard where he got the kayak on shore, “physically dragged” the pontoon ashore, got the boy safely onto land and tied off the pontoon so it wouldn’t float out into the shipping channel.
“I was wrecked. It was my third time out in the water. I was physically drained and my hands now are all blisters from pulling the rope, the rope was burning in my hand. It was just adrenaline kicked in and I got my energy from somewhere.
“All I wanted was to see that boy in safely. He said to me, “I thought I was going to die,” and I promised him he would be safe. I kept talking to him coming in along to keep him calm and relaxed.”
He said the boy was lucky because “the channel turns” where he was located and it was “straight out he was going into the shipping lane”.
“The RNLI were on the way and the Coastguard, as far as I know. The local guard stood them down once I got him on shore,” he said.