Five teens hailed as heroes following dramatic rescue off Cork beach

Five teenagers have been hailed as heroes after a father and son were saved during a dramatic beach rescue in Cork tonight.
Five teens hailed as heroes following dramatic rescue off Cork beach

A boy, nine, was on an inflatable device when he was caught in a strong current off Fountainstown beach some time before 8pm. Picture: Denis minihane

Five teenagers have been hailed as heroes after a father and son were saved during a dramatic beach rescue in Cork tonight.

The pals, who were fishing in a rib at White Bay, near Roches Point, rushed to the scene to save the father who was left clinging to a marker buoy after his son, nine, was swept out to sea on an inflatable device.

Three of the 16-year-olds have direct family connections to the RNLI. And in a remarkable twist, the father of one of the teens was the helm of the lifeboat which was tasked to the incident.

Jamie Venner, Richard McSweeney, Cillian Foster, Kate Horgan and Harry Pritchard, were fishing near Fort Carlisle when Valentia Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre issued a pan-pan alert for any vessel in the locality to respond to an incident off Fountainstown beach.

Jamie’s dad, Ian, is a member of Crosshaven RNLI. Cillian is a brother of another Crosshaven RNLI crew member, Caoimhe Foster, and Richard’s father, Kieran, is a former crew member of Baltimore RNLI.

It is understood that a nine-year-old boy had been on an inflatable device when he was caught in a strong current and was swept out to sea. His father went into the water to help him and both were swept out further.

A member of the public heard the father’s cries for help and raised the alarm.

Valentia Coast Guard issued a pan-pan alert and tasked the Waterford-based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, as well as Crosshaven RNLI and Crosshaven Coast Guard ground units to the scene.

Members of the public also rushed to help the casualties as gardaí and National Ambulance Service (NAS) paramedics responded.

It is understood that the boy managed to make it ashore himself at the back strand area, but the father was left clinging to a marker buoy.

The five teenagers were on the scene before the other emergency services arrived.

They retrieved the man onto their boat, and brought him ashore where he was reunited with his son.

The Coast Guard helicopter airlifted the pair to Cork Airport, where NAS paramedics and an ambulance were waiting.

Those involved in the emergency response praised the teenagers for their actions.

“They had the right gear and were listening to the radio, and paying attention to the right channel. They responded exactly as you would want. They showed remarkable presence of mind and deserve huge credit,” a senior RNLI figure said.

“Crosshaven RNLI commends the five youngsters for acting so professionally and swiftly in rescuing the casualty in need. Our future is safe in their hands,” a senior RNLI spokesman said.

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