Cyclists save the day

My friends and I meet every Sunday on the old Bridge outside Jury's hotel on the Western Road in Cork. We've been doing this for 20 years. There we are, three of us, when a funny looking log appears floating down the river. Is it a person, couldn't be. What? God it is, floating on her back. Two girls (the woman is 30 yds upriver at this stage) grab a lifebuoy and drop it to her, one rings the emergency services, I run down river and undo a second buoy. By the time I get it in the water the lady is there. The girl says "She wouldn't take mine. She says she wants to die". I lower mine too. She says the same to me. Gosh.
"You don't really", says I. "Go on, grab it". No answer. "Go on, go on" says I as gently as I could. "You'll feel better soon", says I. No answer. "Go on, grab it, grab it. Go on. Just a small grab. Just grab it"

She does. She's now down a sheer wall, 10 ft, no ladder, no steps. 40 yards from a big weir. If she lets go, she's dead. You could not go into the river. One of my fellow cyclists is a retired lifeguard. The river is in severe flood with a savage current in the middle.
"Did you get the fire-brigade?" says I to the girl. " No, the Guards "(our police). "Ring the fire-brigade" says I. The Guards won't have the kit. Fire-brigade arrives in about 10 minutes. We're jollying the lady along to hold on. She does. Along come three vehicles, a specialist rescue one and two fire-engines.
A fireman on a harness is lowered manually to her side and grabs her so she can't be swept away. Then a big winch is used to lower a big plastic stretcher thingy, a basket it's called, with two firemen by its side. Then these two with the help of the chap in the water get her onto the stretcher, winch her out and put her in the waiting ambulance. A repeat performance gets the first fireman out.
Now that's a different start to a day's cycling!! Had we not been there she would've perished.
We then had a lovely autumnal spin to Macroom on back roads, coffee and home-made brown bread and jam in the Castle Hotel, and back.
We felt good, and I hope she does soon.
No matter how low your mood, you will usually feel a lot better eventually.
Dá fhaid an oíche, tagann an lá. (Irish Gaelic. No matter how long the night, the day comes)

One comment on “Cyclists save the day”

  1. Patrick wrote:

    Saving a life – that's quite something. If it was me who'd saved the woman I'd be wondering if she knows who saved her, and if she even cares. I'd also wonder why she did it, and whether she'll try again. Jumping in the river – was it a spur of the moment thing, or does she lead a truly unhappy life? That's what I'd want to know, but I suppose you never find out.

Leave a comment

Add a Smiley Smiley »