Surfers save eight kids in rescue drama

Instructor Alan Herdman of Rusheen Bay Windsurfing, who was the lead rescuer of the eight children from the sea.

A tragedy of catastrophic proportions – involving eight children – was averted last week at Rusheen Bay by the swift intervention of three windsurfing instructors who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

The eight children ranging in ages from eight to 12 – who had been on the beach with their parents – got into difficulty after going for a swim only to find themselves isolated on the outer sandbank area.

As the tide came in, the group of children were out of their depth in the water, and a passerby who was walking on the beach managed to alert members of the Rusheen Bay Windsurfing Club who were in the sea at the time a short distance away.

Three instructors from the club – led by Alan Herdman – were on the scene within seconds and succeeded in getting all eight children safely ashore, where the rescuers administered first aid assistance to the group. Two of the group of children had actually gone under the water, but were pulled ashore by the three windsurfing instructors, who advised the parents to seek further medical care if required.

The children – who were just in for a casual swim and who had no connection with the windsurfing instruction going on at the same time – all seemed pretty shook up after the experience, but were all safe and well.

Danny Mulryan, owner of the Rusheen Bay Windsurfing Club, said that like so many beach areas around the country, swimmers or children could get into difficulty due to the changing tidal levels. For more on the rescue, see this week’s Galway City Tribune