A Limerick woman whose “worst nightmare” played out in front of her eyes has praised the man who saved her daughter from the sea.
Julie Peters is now urging parents to keep both eyes on their kids at all times when near water.
The mother of three had been visiting Quilty in Co Clare when her daughter, Leah, slipped into the water at Seafield Pier.
The seven-year-old was “unable to reach the bottom” and was struggling in the water.
A man heard the screams and “without hesitation” entered the water to save Leah.
Ms Peters said that Patrick Mungovan, a trained lifeguard, lifted Leah from the water and got her back to dry land.
“I will never forget the fright to see my 7-year-old daughter so helpless and scared,” said Ms Peters.
“It could have been a different outcome had this man not been there to help Leah.”
Ms Peters hailed Mr Mungovan as a “true hero” and promised to replace his iPhone, which had been in his pocket when he jumped in the water.
She said that it was “clear to see” that Mr Mungovan was experienced around water “with such a quick reaction to help my baby”.
Leah was examined by a doctor after the incident and was told she was very lucky as she could have started to intake water to her lungs had she been in there longer.
Ms Peters urged parents to be cautious with their children when near water.
“Even a split second can mean the difference between life and death.
She said she wanted to share her story so parents can understand dangers of how fast things can go wrong and to share the name Mr Mungovan.
Ms Peters added that she will never be able to thank him enough “for saving my daughter’s life”.