Tributes are being paid to a group of five teenage boys who rescued a man from the waters of the Corrib during the Macnas parade on Sunday.
Seán Oliver (14), Niall O’Neill (14), Samuel Healy (14), Dara McDonagh (14) and Brendan Chasseriaud (13) pulled the man from the river just after 6pm as the Halloween parade was making it way from NUI Galway.
The five teens were on the river in an inflatable Rib boat at the time to watch the parade going by.
Seán Oliver is a trained boat handler who has been in the Galway Sea Scouts. His uncle, Dave Oliver, is a member of the Fire Brigade and a coxswain with the RNLI.
According to the Irish Times, Dave had just come off duty that night when he heard the crowd shouting that there was a man in the water.
He made his way to the pier at the Dominican Church and called down to his nephew and friends in the boat about what was happening.
Though at first they had difficulty locating him in the dark, and with the noise of the night, they found the man and pulled him into the boat.
Another of the boys, Niall O’Neill, is doing a lifeguarding course, and put what he’s learning to good use that night.
Members of the Fire Brigade and ambulance personnel were on the scene within minutes on that very cold night as the boat came to the steps.
Emergency life saving measures were performed before the man was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway, where he has since made a full recovery.
Seán’s father Ciaran Oliver is also a coxswain with the RNLI and expressed his pride in his son, saying that his year’s of training with the boat and Sea Scouts paid off.
But what was also important is that there was a group of them working together that night.
Irish Water Safety’s deputy Chief Executive Roger Sweeney said that he would be nominating he five for their ‘Just in Time Award’ which honours those who find help people in danger in the water.