Three Cork men to be honoured for saving a life

Three Cork men to be honoured for saving a life
A lifebuoy at the Regional Park, Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Minihane.

THREE Cork fisheries officers will receive an Irish Water Safety Award for saving a drowning man's life.

Stephen Kiely, Sean Cremin and Tomás O’Riordan saved the life of a man who was in difficulty in the River Lee.

The three Corkonians will be presented with a 'Seiko Just In Time Award' at the Irish Water Safety Awards  tomorrow because they came to the assistance of a person who was in danger of drowning.

The incident occurred in March of this year at Ballincollig Regional Park.

Fisheries officers Stephen Kiely and Sean Cremin were on patrol at the River Lee. 

"We were doing a normal patrol, down by the River Bride," Stephen Kiely told The Echo.

The river at Ballincollig Regional Park. 
The river at Ballincollig Regional Park. 

"We saw three or four Gardaí standing on the bridge, which was unusual. We asked them what was going on and they said they were looking for someone [who went into the water].

"We offered to help, we drove down to Ballincollig Regional Park, parked our car and walked around, looking into the water.

"We were just leaving to walk back to the car when a man came running towards, saying there was a body in the water under the bridge."

Both officers ran to the bridge and climbed down the bank towards the man. 

"Me and Séan hauled him out."

"We stopped. I nearly didn't want to go near him then, as I thought he was dead."

However, Stephen saw signs of life and the two officers put the unconscious man in the recovery position.

Stephen rang his friend and fellow fisheries officer Tomás for help in reviving the man because he had training. 

Tom instructed the two officers to start giving the man sternum rubs.

"He opened his eyes and closed them again about three times. Then his heart stopped... he had actually died," said Stephen.

"We had also rung 999 and the operator instructed us on how to give CPR. She was really brilliant."

Stephen says he and Sean continued to do chest compressions and breaths. 

"It felt like ages, but it really wasn't."

The man eventually started to respond and displayed signs of life. 

"The ambulance arrived and took the man to hospital, where he made a full recovery.

"I've been working on the rivers for 15 years, but this was a first."

The Cork men will be honoured at Water Safety Ireland’s National Annual Awards Ceremony in UCD tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26.

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