Irish policeman in Australia hailed as hero after dramatic rescue

Since the rescue, Rob admits he can't keep up with the messages flooding in from friends and family all around the world.
Irish policeman in Australia hailed as hero after dramatic rescue
Rob Gaynor

An Irish policeman in Australia has been hailed a hero on national TV after a daring rescue of a fisherman who was swept to sea by a freak wave.

Dramatic footage captured at the scene shows First Class Constable Rob Gaynor offering a strong hand to haul to safety the 28-year old man who had been clinging to rocks until help arrived

In a heart-stopping moment, Constable Gaynor grabs the wrist of the exhausted fisherman as he slips, saving him from falling back into the deep waters.

Luckily the fisherman's location had been pinpointed by a drone belonging to Perth photographer Anton Wilkinson who had spotted the man in the ocean after he was tossed by a rogue wave off rocks where he had been fishing.

The footage captured by the drone was broadcast on 7 News in Perth after the incident which occurred earlier this month.

Speaking from Western Australia, Constable Gaynor said he knew time was of the essence when responding to the emergency call 10km away from Dunsborough Police Station, where he is based.

"He was out fishing off Sugarloaf Rock and was wearing a life-jacket but the waves are so unpredictable and he was swept into the water," he said

"Luckily it is a local beauty spot which attracts photographers and when I arrived Anton Wilkinson told me about the drone and I asked him if he'd guide me to where the fisherman was.

"It's a bit of a cove, so he was washed off one side and was smashed against the rocks on the other. He was very tired and I didn't know if he would have been able to hold himself up much longer.

"There was a bit of rock hopping, jumping and scrambling down what was a sheer rock face but I managed to find a small foothold and narrow passage to get to him.

"I was offering my hand to him when he slipped and I grabbed his wrist and held him up from falling back into the ocean.

"I don't think we would've had much more time with the conditions and the fact that he was so fatigued," he said

"He had lacerations to his legs from being smashed against the rocks but we quickly got him to an ambulance at the scene. I've talked to him since and he's doing OK."

Thirty-seven-year old Constable Gaynor is originally from Monasterboice in Co Louth where his well-known family and friends were extremely proud of his deed.

The dad of three emigrated to Western Australia 12 years ago and worked as an architect technologist before seeing an advertisement for the police force six years ago and decided to apply.

"I just saw an ad for the police force and decided to go for it. It was always something I wanted to do since I was a kid but didn't have a chance in Ireland so I applied here and haven't looked back once. You are definitely kept on your toes but I love it.

"Every police officer does things each day and you don't know how it affects or changes people's lives in a good way. "

Since the rescue, Rob admits he can't keep up with the messages flooding in from friends and family all around the world.

"There's been a lot of reaction alright and a lot of messages coming in both to me and to my parents Anthony and Bernie at home in Monasterboice. It's been great but I was just doing my job at the end of the day."

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