A DRAMATIC rescue of a three-year-old girl took place in Fermoy on Tuesday afternoon.
Local man Chris O’Donovan pulled Crystal O’Driscoll out from a pond (near the old army camp) much to the relief of her distraught family.
Chris said he was out walking his dog when he noticed a visibly distressed young boy.
“When I approached the bank of the pond, I could see a young girl in the middle of the pond. Her head was just above the water,” he said, speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show.
“I went straight into the water. She was sitting on a rock. She was frantically crying and screaming. I asked her to put her hands up and I lifted her clean out of the water.
“Thankfully, she had the good sense to sit down on the rock when she was in the pond. After I pulled her out, I brought her back to dry land. She was hysterical.
“Her brother told me that she had followed the ball into the water. I knew she lived nearby so I brought her home. I handed her over to her mother who was frantically looking for her.
“Even though she is very young, she was clever enough not to walk on the surface of that pond as she would have slipped and gone underneath. She didn’t realise how deep the pond was, but after heavy rain it fills up very quickly,” he added.
The modest hero played down his rescue mission. “I was in shock. I am just grateful I was there for her.”
Relieved mother Emma O’Driscoll praised the quick thinking and rapid response from Chris.
“We are so grateful to Chris. Chris acted so quickly ... the outcome could have been a lot worse.
"She is doing fine. She didn’t get any sickness. We were very lucky.
"We want to acknowledge the role Chris played in her rescue. He is a hero. We will never be able to thank him enough.”