A LUCAN teenager has told how his two cousins bravely came to his rescue when he suddenly found himself in major difficulties while swimming.
Evan Ahearne (18) had gone with 12 other members of his family to Drumkerrin, Co Leitrim, to mark a 40th birthday celebration in the family.
He was out swimming with his two cousins James Bould (16), and Raven Genson (16) also from Lucan at Spencer Harbour on July 6 last year.
"We were out swimming, and we swam out to the middle of the lake where there was a pontoon, and from there we were going to swim to join the rest of the family on the other side of the lake," Evan told The Herald.
"We got about half-way and we realised it was too long a swim and I was kind of leading the group, and I just panicked then.
" I was floundering. I just couldn't tread water, and James and Raven brought me back to the pontoon, and from there they calmed me down and helped me to the shore.
"I went under a couple of times. It was quite scary. But once I got back on to solid ground I was okay," he said.
Irish Water Safety (IWS) recognised the bravery of 35 rescuers at its national awards ceremony at Dublin Castle yesterday, presenting them with "Seiko Just in Time" awards.
Among them was songwriter Damien Dempsey who "had a premonition" he would pull someone from the water just two days before saving a man from drowning in Wexford over the summer.
He said he "followed his instinct" when he got into the water at the River Slaney in Enniscorthy to help two swimmers who had gotten into difficulty.
He said he had dreamt of something similar in the days beforehand "so I knew what to do when it happened. I was ready."
One man managed to swim back to shore while Mr Dempsey waded out with a sheet from his tour van to tow the other back in to safety.
Garda Colin Davidson (36) who is stationed in the Bridewell was also honoured at the ceremony for his rescue of an unconscious man in his fifties at Usher's Quay on the River Liffey, Dublin.
The man made a successful recovery after his ordeal.