FIVE TEENAGERS have been hailed as heroes for saving the lives of a father and son off the coast of Cork.
At around 7.30pm yesterday evening in Fountainstown, County Cork, a nine-year-old boy found himself in danger as he was swept out to sea in an inflatable craft.
It is understood the child's father attempted to rescue him but got into difficulty in the strong currents and was left clinging to a marker buoy in the water as his son was swept further in to sea.
A member of the public who witnessed the father and son in distress raised the alarm , and Gardaí and the Coastguard rushed to the scene.
Before the emergency services could reach the father and son however, five teenagers, who were fishing in a light craft nearby, heard the alert and set off on their small boat to come to the rescue.
Jamie Venner, Richard McSweeney, Cillian Doster, Kate Horgan and Harry Pritchard reached the father before the emergency services and were able to haul him to safety before bringing him to shore where he was reunited with his young son, who is understood to have managed to bring himself back to dry land.
Today, Victor Shine of the Crosshaven Coastguard spoke on RTÉ's Morning radio programme and said the teenagers' small boat was able to reach the man in "a challenging area" which would have been difficult for the Coastguard.
“I must commend them for their heroic efforts,” he said.
The father and son were found to be suffering from severe hypothermia and were taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment via the Coastguard helicopter, he added.
Both are expected to make a full recovery thanks to the teenagers' quick-thinking and heroic actions.