A tragedy was narrowly averted in Blackrock on Saturday when a group of six people who had crossed the river were rescued by a local man as the tide quickly came in.
The group which included a small baby had crossed the river just before 2pm and got caught behind the tide beyond the brake for the River Fane in Dundalk Bay.
Local man Conor Hughes was walking along the promenade when he noticed the group of people and the potential danger they were in. According to Conor he called the gardaí before trying to warn the group of the danger they were in.
“I was looking out to sea and I noticed the group of people and I guess that I would be terribly familiar with how the sea works around here having lived here so long. I know how dangerous certain spots can be as the tide begins to come in and I knew straight away that these people could be in trouble pretty quickly if I didn’t react. You want to be reacting instead of waiting in these situations so I rang the guards and ran towards them flailing my arms telling them to come back in. I knew the tide comes in very quickly at that particular time of day and I was trying to relay to them the seriousness of the situation,” explained Conor.
“They eventually seen me and pretty quickly got the picture and there was a sense of urgency from them as they began to wade back towards me. The tide was coming in very quickly and I suppose it was up to waist level as they quickly came towards me. One of the men was holding the baby up in his arms as he came across.
“Thankfully everybody got back ok and it shows just how easy it is to get cut off from the shore. I know most of the locals know of the dangers but on sunny days like we had on Saturday you get people from all over coming here and they wouldn’t be as familiar with the way dangers posed by crossing the river,” stated Conor.
A rescue operation was coordinated by the Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre Dublin. Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter R116, Drogheda Coast Guard Unit and Clogherhead Lifeboat were tasked to the scene. All casualties were taken safely ashore and no further assistance was required.