Man saved in river rescue

A man has been saved from drowning by firefighters in a dramatic four-minute river rescue.

The man, aged in his mid-20s, entered the River Shannon from the Shannon Bridge in Limerick City shortly after 2pm.

Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service received an alert about the incident at 2.04pm and took only minutes to respond.

The man was initially saved by two Swift Water Rescue Technicians attached to the fire service. The service includes members specifically trained to deal with water rescues.

“They had him out in four minutes. They came on the scene so quickly, it was fantastic,” said an eyewitness. “The fella in the water had already gone under once and he would have gone under again, so the firemen did brilliantly.”

The man was put onboard the fire service’s mobile river rescue paddle craft, which travels on its fire tenders.

He was taken to Honan’s Quay and transferred to a waiting ambulance that brought him to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

The man is not believed to have suffered any serious injuries.

Greg Costello, incident commander with Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service, said it was great that they got the man out of the river alive.

“It was a successful rescue, which is always great,” said Mr Costello. “We got a call and we went mobile. We came down [to the river] with three appliances, and 12 firefighters. We had two [members] swim out to the casualty within four minutes of receiving the call.

“He had just gone down under the subsurface but had resurfaced again and the lads got to him, so, if it was another five or 10 seconds, it could have been a different outcome altogether.

“We launched our rescue craft and paddled out to the lads who had the casualty, hauled him on board, and paddled up outside Clohessy’s [pub] where we brought him up and put him on an ambulance.”

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