life saver | 

Hero Cork dad who rescued boy from drowning ‘thought they were both going to die’

“If it wasn’t for you, we’d be arranging a funeral tomorrow.”
Stock Image: Deposit Photos

Stock Image: Deposit Photos

Sunday World

A hero dad who rescued a boy from drawing said that he thought that they were both going to die.

Timmy O’Driscoll from Knocknaheeny, Co. Cork was visiting Owenahincha Beach with his family earlier this week when he spotted the young boy getting into difficulty.

The lifeguard on duty had warned children not to swim beyond the flags but they ignored his advice and swam outside the safety zone.

Not long later, one of the boys was being pulled out by the tide and Timmy jumped in to save him.

“I saw him going under and I thought, God, he’s gone,” Timmy told Newstalk.

“So, I got up off the sand and I ran.”

“I don’t know whatever came over me, I took off then. A family friend of theirs was kind of panicking and looking around to see if he could find the lifeguard. He goes, ‘can you go in after him? I can’t swim, I can’t swim,’” he recalled.

“So, I dived in after him and swam out. He was going down as I was coming to him, and, at this stage, I couldn’t stand it. Like, I’m 6’2” and I couldn’t stand where we were.”

“He was a good bit out and I was exhausted by the time I got out to him. So, as he was going down, I grabbed him by the arm and as I grabbed him, he came back up, thank God.”

He explained that the pair were still in trouble as the tide continued to pull them out.

“I said to him, look, I have you and I won’t let you go, but you need to kick your legs,” he said.

“I can’t do all the work. You need to give me a hand. You need to kick your legs otherwise we’re not going home. Otherwise, we’re going home in body bags.”

“He goes ‘I can’t, I can’t I’m exhausted’ and I said ‘I know you’re exhausted, I am too. You need to kick your legs fairly fast.’”

“So, he started kicking his legs and then, as I was swimming, I looked behind. There was a wave coming in and I said, here’s my chance.

“So, I picked him up - I don’t know where I got the strength from - and I threw him against the wave and the wave brought him in a good bit.

“I swam in after him and he was going down again so I picked him up under his arms and at that point, I could stand. I felt the bottom and I went ‘thank God, thank God, I can feel the bottom’."

When it came to the snap decision he made to try and save the young boy he said he didn’t think twice about it.

“I was thinking then in my own head, ‘what did you do that for?’” he said. “It was just a blind action, I just took off. I didn’t think twice about doing it at the time.”

“The family friend, the fella that couldn’t swim - he was about 30-odd I’d say - he goes ‘thanks a million for that boy. If it wasn’t for you, we’d be arranging a funeral tomorrow.’”

“Any parent would do it, I would do it for my own kids in a heartbeat. I just did what I had to do.”

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