Dublin Castle, Wednesday 29th November 2017:
Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural & Community Development (left) and Martin O'Sullivan, Chairman of Irish Water Safety present Olivia Murphy (mother of Owen), Fergal Muller, Friederike Rost and Sean Young with Seiko Just In Time Awards at the annual IWS Awards Ceremony.
Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport
15. Incident occurred in Donegal – Owen Murphy (Donegal), Fergal Muller (Donegal), Friederike Rost (Donegal) and Sean Young (Donegal)
On the 15th of July 2017, a group of nine teenagers entered the water to cool down unaware of dangerous rip currents. Within minutes they all got into difficulty. The alarm was raised by members of the public who contacted the coast guard. In the meantime, four local surf instructors who happened to be giving lessons at Tullan Strand quickly intervened. All four paddled to the group in difficulty, and prompted each of the teenagers to grab onto surfboards one by one. They used their knowledge of the currents to assist them to paddle over to a safer area where they could walk ashore. Each instructor returned a number of times until all nine of the teenagers were brought to safety. Thanks to the quick thinking of Owen, Fergal, Friedericke and Sean, a major tragedy was averted.