Two Gardai praised for rescuing youth from river
TWO Gardai have been credited with saving the life of a young person who went into a fast flowing river swollen with water after last weeks’ heavy rains.
Gardai Ronan Doherty (25) and Ashley McEvoy (34), Dundalk, also put the person in their Garda vehicle and drove to meet the ambulance that was en route as they were very concerned hypothermia might set in.
Gda McEvoy said they were alerted after a call from the public that, ‘a young person had entered the Castletown river.’
They realised the flow of the river would have moved the person from where they were last seen so they began to search in the direction the water was moving.
‘It was pretty fast flowing and pretty deep,’ said Gda McEvoy.
A short time later Gda Doherty saw what he thought was a piece of clothing and made his way there.
‘I saw the young person in the water holding onto a tree. The water was up pretty high.’
The young person was holding onto a tree branch and Gda McEvoy said the water was at neck height.
He said, ‘I got my baton out and extended it and reached it out and the person was able to grab a hold of it.’
Gda Doherty then reached over to grab the persons hands. ‘ The river was flowing fairly fast and we were worried if they lost grip they would have went with the current.’
Both Gardai then pulled the person out of the water and rang for an ambulance. The fire service arrived and a foil blanket was put around them but the Garda were still concerned about the risk of hypothermia.
They put the person into the Garda van, turned the heat up full and drove to meet the ambulance which was coming from Drogheda.
The paramedics then took over caring for the person and the gardai returned to finish their working day, last Thursday.
Their Sgt, Errol Boyle paid tribute to them saying, ‘ They were fast thinking on the day. But for the actions of both Gardai this young person could have lost their life. I saw the currents and they would definitely have otherwise been swept out to sea.’
Gda Doherty, who loves working in Dundalk, said, ‘Every day is different, you can’t prepare for this to happen, you just work off your instinct’
Gda McEvoy said, ‘People don’t realise what (situation) you can go to or what you do get called to.’
Garda Superintendent Gerry Curley, Dundalk said, ‘We are thankful to the public for their prompt action in reporting it to the Gardai.’
‘I would like to commend the two members for their prompt response to the incident and their dedication to duty to follow-up and their courage in ensuring the person was able to get out of the water in a safe manner.’