A MAN who climbed a high fence and jumped eight feet to assist a drowning man is one of three Corkonians who received awards yesterday at the Irish Water Safety’s National Awards Ceremony for their brave rescue efforts.
Ronan Dinan, originally from Cork, but now living in Carrick on Suir, Co Waterford, was driving along the Marina in Carrick on Suir on May 13, when he spotted two people throwing a life buoy into the river.
Ronan stopped and asked what was happening. Looking down the river, Ronan couldn’t see the man because of the boats docked at the Marina, but then he saw a hand grasping the wooden decking and he sprang into action.
Mr Dinan climbed the high fence surrounding the Marina and jumped eight foot onto the Marina decking. He grabbed the man’s hand and although he was unable to hoist him out of the water, due to the weight of his clothes, he supported him so his head was not submerged.
Around 30 seconds after Ronan reached the man, the man fell unconscious.
“I think he was just holding on hoping someone would help and when I got there then he fell unconscious.” A volunteer paramedic with the local mountain rescue Niall Geoghegan came across the scene at this point and he, along with a local Garda Billy Lonergan, dived into the water and swam over to assist Ronan.
Niall and Ronan managed to pull the man out of the water and Niall and Billy proceeded to carry out CPR.
Soon after Emergency Services managed to get the gates of the Marina open and they took the man to hospital.
Ronan said looking at the fencing since, he didn’t think it was something he could do again, but at the time he just acted.
“It all happened really quickly, I just had to get in to help him. It was quite dramatic.” Mr Dinan said he was told he was holding the man for 15 minutes before the others assisted him, but the time went by very quickly.
Garda David O’Sullivan and Dianna Stewart are also up for an award for saving a man on May 10 at St Patricks Quay and Martin Cullinane saved two young brothers (5 and 6) from drowning during the summer.
Martin went on to become the face of an Irish Water Safety Campaign to create awareness about the dangers of drowning.
Minister of State at the Department of Rural & Community Development Mr Seán Canney TD will present the “Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award” to the rescuers in appreciation for saving so many lives.
“It is an honour to pay tribute to these courageous recipients. Tragically an average of 127 people drown in Ireland every year and although that’s 127 too many, the figure would be even higher but for the dramatic efforts of these individuals who saved others from drowning and the ongoing work of Irish Water Safety volunteers teaching swimming and water rescue skills.” Long-Service Volunteer Awards will also be presented to 63 volunteers, recognising a combined total of 1,315 years of service teaching swimming, water rescue and survival skills in communities nationwide.
The awards took place yesterday at the Hibernia Conference Centre, Dublin Castle.