Gardaí brave icy waters to save Cork man from drowning

Gardaí brave icy waters to save Cork man from drowning
Emergency services at the scene of the dramatic river rescue in Cork this lunchtime.

A garda braved freezing, fast-flowing water and dived into the river Lee this lunchtime to save a man from drowning.

Garda Nigel Desmond risked his own life to help the man who was seen entering the southern channel of the river at Lancaster Quay just before 1pm.

The alarm was raised by passersby who threw a lifebuoy to the casualty. But the water was flowing at twice the normal rate and the man was swept downriver quickly and was struggling to stay afloat.

Garda Desmond and his colleague, Garda Darren Twomey, were on the scene within seconds.

Garda Desmond entered the water immediately and managed to grab hold of the casualty and keep his head above water.

With the assistance of Garda Twomey and some onlookers, they were able to get the casualty close to the river bank.

Three units of the Cork City Fire Brigade arrived moments later and two members of its swift water rescue team entered the water. Together, they recovered the casualty onto dry land.

He has been taken to the Mercy University Hospital for a full assessment.

Supt Colm O’Sullivan paid tribute to the gardaí for their actions.

“But I would also like to acknowledge the members of the public who raised the alarm and helped at the scene,” he said.

The incident is unconnected to an ongoing search for a missing person in the city centre.

Earlier, gardaí tasked volunteers with the Cork Missing Persons Search and Recovery group to search the south channel of the river Lee as they issued an appeal for help tracing Cormac Ryan, 31, who was last seen on Sunday.

The group has two divers in the water, two shore crews monitoring the river surface from the quays, and a boat with side-scanning sonar sweeping the river between Parliament bridge and the Port of Cork.

Mr Ryan is described as being approximately 5'11 in height with a stocky build, brown hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a dark green coat, blue jeans, wine coloured shirt and black shoes with a thick white sole.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on 021 4522000.

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