A GROUP of Irish-American friends holidaying in Ireland have been hailed as heroes after rescuing a 5-year-old girl who was swept out to sea.
The Irish Post previously reported on the bold rescue which saw the young girl brought back to shore by an unnamed group of men.
Now the identities of the four young heroes have been revealed.
Brothers Walter, Eoghan and Declan Butler (21. 18 & 18), along with their friend Alex Thomson (24) didn’t think twice before coming to the aid of the struggling child, telling The Independent, “we couldn’t lose that little girl”.
The Irish-Americans, from Virginia, were holidaying on Portmarnock beach in Dublin when they heard someone shouting for a lifeguard. This alerted them to the little girl on a pink inflatable being pulled by the strong current further out to sea.
Walter, who is a health services technician with the United States Coast Guard, remained on the beach as the other three boys swam to help the little girl, telling The Independent:
“If this girl needed to be revived or needed any medical attention I had to be in my best shape to provide first aid. You could see the brave little girl fighting for her life. She was doing everything she could to stay alive. Luckily, she gave it her all and Eoghan had enough time to grab her.”
It is believed the girl slipped and fell from the inflatable as it was dragged further away from the coastline, and soon-to-be-father Alex Thomson told The Independent:
“I’m expecting a daughter in October, and was empathising with the father's fear. I just couldn't imagine the pain he and the family would have felt had she gone under.”
It’s tough to imagine the outcome had the four brave lads not been present and ready to jump into action—emergency services arrived after her rescue, and she was treated at the scene before being taken to Dublin’s Temple Street Children’s Hospital, where she is believed to be doing well.
We always welcome our Irish-American cousins to our shores, and these four in particular are guaranteed a hero’s welcome with every return.