Man who rescued stranded paddle boarders says they were "weak and tired" but "thankful"
A truly extraordinary story.
This morning, Patrick Oliver and his son, Morgan, rescued two cousins who had become stranded after going paddle boarding in Galway Bay on Wednesday evening.
The two paddle boarders, aged 23 and 17, had been blown out to sea and had been in the water for 15 hours when Oliver came to the rescue.
The local fisherman discovered them clinging to a lobster pot about two miles from Inis Oírr, which was roughly 17 miles from where the duo had been last seen the night before.
Speaking on RTÉ's Liveline on Thursday afternoon, Oliver said he had heard about the missing paddle boarders on the news and had set out that morning heading west out of the bay.
Oliver, a third generation fisherman who has helped with multiple rescues, said he and his son predicted where the paddle boarders ended up in the water by judging the wind.
Emotional scenes at Galway Port as fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan return from saving the lives of two young women in Galway @RTENewsNow @GalwayLifeboat #alive pic.twitter.com/YOOC0Zcn8T
— TERESA MANNION (@TeresaMannion) August 13, 2020
“They were good. They were waving their paddles up in the air, they'd us spotted,” Oliver said.
“They were weak and tired of course but they were sitting up and there was a bit of chat out of them. We got them into the boat and brought them into the island and the chopper landed there on the island.”
He praised their composure by not panicking and holding onto a buoy that was used by fishermen.
"Lucky enough now, in fairness to them, they held on to a buoy on the surface and they held on to one another and that’s what kept them there until we found them," Oliver said.
"If they didn’t they were really going to go out to sea."
Oliver brought the woman and the teenage girl to Inis Oírr where they were airlifted to Galway University Hospital where they're understood to be well and receiving treatment.