A NINE-year-old from Kill, Co Waterford was heroically rescued by his 14-year-old cousin after he got caught in a freak wave, while swimming at the pier in Boatstrand.
Without a second thought Dylan Sandes jumped straight into action moments after his cousin Dara McCarthy was caught unware by the wave and got into difficulty, despite being a strong swimmer.
Brendan McCarthy said his wife Ciara, Dara, Dylan, Killian and Oisín were having fun jumping into the water when the incident occurred around lunchtime on August 10.
The freak wave came around the storm wall and his son wasn’t able to get to the ladder in time. “My nephew Dylan jumped into action… Dara said he was in the water and saw Dylan coming and he knew everything would be alright. We are so proud of Dylan. We hand out medals to Gardaí for such heroic actions. There was no thought for himself. His training took over and his skills came to the fore.”
Powering through the water with a sidestroke Dylan, who has extensive experience in water safety and lifeguard training, reached his cousin and brought him to the safety of dry land.
Brendan said that Dylan played down his actions, but added that, “You could see that he was delighted. If Dylan hadn’t been there it could have been a different scenario.” Dylan was down in Waterford from Middleton for a family visit.
Brendan emphasised the importance of water safety, adding that Dara and his siblings had started a water safety course just prior to the incident. Brendan knows first-hand the importance of having such skills as he had opportunity to rescue people from the water in Bonmahon previously.
“You never know when your training is going to come into play. It goes to show that no matter what age you are, you are going to put your training into operation. When the chips were down Dylan was so mature and quick thinking,” Brendan said.
Despite getting an initial fright, Dara hasn’t been put off swimming. He was delighted that his cousin helped him out.