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Tuesday, 15th September 2020

Quick thinking skateboarders save man from drowning

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Damien Conlon (left) and Shaun Guiden at the scene of the rescue.

Quick thinking and the ability to keep a cool head in a crisis on the part of two young Drogheda skateboarders has resulted in a man being saved from drowning.

Around 7.00 pm on Thursday evening last the two friends, Damien Conlon from Hand Street in Drogheda and Shaun Guiden from Bettystown, were enjoying themselves at the skate park beside the Bridge of Peace when they noticed a man stagger and fall over the river wall.

Damien told Drogheda Life that the man, who he reckoned was in his mid-thirties, fell backward over the edge and, because the tide was partially out, there was a fall of some seven or eight feet on to rocks at the side of the river.

The two friends asked the man to sit tight and wait while they called the emergency services but he tried to stand up and then fell backwards again, this time into the water.

They could see that he was thrashing about and also that there was blood on his head, so Damien climbed down to assist him.

“He was panicking and seemed light headed so I got him on to my shoulders and managed to pass him up to Shaun and the other people the people on the bank who grabbed him and pulled him to safety” Damien said.

They sat the man, who was still frightened and thanking them profusely, down against the wall of the skate park and waited a short while for the emergency services to arrive.

“The Drogheda River Rescue and the Coast Guard took over from there” Damien said, “they had been out on the river for World Suicide Prevention Day and their boathouses are just across the river” he explained.

The Gardaí had also been called and they took the man to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

Damien said that he had been a member of the Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Service for about 18 months and had taken part in two or three rescues with them.

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