Lifeguard is praised for his part in rescue of canoeistOctober 9, 2012 - 7:00am
BY FRANK FARRAGHER
AN alert woman ‘throwing her eye’ across Galway Bay and a brave lifeguard at Leisureland, helped to save the life of a canoeist who got into difficulty last Sunday afternoon.
Duty Manager at Leisureland, Ian Brennan, took to the water after a woman looking across from the Galway Bay Hotel, saw a man in trouble in the sea, a few hundred yards from the shoreline.
Ian Brennan told The Sentinel that he didn’t think twice about what he had to do – however the former competitive swimmer, originally from Barna but now living in Roscahill, has 25 years experience under his belt in water safety and lifeguard duties.
“The woman rang Leisureland and I had someone to cover for me there, so I grabbed a ring buoy, ran across the road, stripped down to my ‘boxers’ and swam to the person who was in difficulty.
“He had a lifejacket on and that was keeping him afloat but I was concerned because he was quite low in the water. He caught onto the ring buoy, and I was swimming ashore with him when I saw the Galway Lifeboat being launched.
“I would have to commend the lifeboat crew for the speed at which they launched and within a matter of minutes they were up to us and we both got aboard. The man needed treatment for hypothermia and the lifeboat crew saw to that straight away,” said Ian Brennan.
Onlookers gave Ian Brennan a spirited round of applause after the lifeboat dropped him off at Ladies Beach and he then ran back to Leisureland, had a shower and quick change of clothes, before resuming his 2 to 11.30pm shift.
“It really was no big deal and in something like this, with the adrenalin pumping, I didn’t take any notice of the coldness of the water. The rescued man [understood to be in his mid-30s], had clothes and boots on that would tend to pull him down, and certainly needed urgent assistance,” he said.
He said that the incident once again emphasised the importance of water safety issues and training to a city like Galway with its inland waterways network and its proximity to the sea.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.