Irish Water Safety honours for teenage surfers who saved boy


“LUCKY TO be alive” was how the father of nine-year-old Gearóid Rogers from Killaloe, Co Clare, described his son, who yesterday watched as two teenage surfers who dramatically saved him from drowning earlier this year were among recipients of Irish Water Safety Awards in Dublin Castle.

Bernard Cahill (17) and Donough Cronin (16), both from Ennis, were wading into shore after surfing at Spanish Point in July when they noticed Gearóid’s mother Roz on the beach waving for help. When her son had been swept out by a rip current, Roz’s husband Ger swam to save his son before becoming stranded himself.

“I looked up and saw that the lifeguards were leaving the hut and then I just said to Donough, ‘I’m going’. Something along those lines, it was just instinct,” recalled Bernard.

“I knew they were coming to save me,” said Gearóid, who had drifted some 50m (160ft) out from the shore with his father. “Bernard threw me up on the surf board and he brought me in and then he went back out to my dad,” he said.

At the ceremony Donough and Bernard accepted “Seiko Just in Time” Awards from Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.

The Irish Timeswas awarded the National Press Award for its coverage of water safety issues, which Irish Water Safety credited with helping to reduce incidents of drowning in Ireland.

The award was accepted by assistant news editor Joe Humphreys, who joined representatives from TG4, the Donegal Democratand Ross FM (Roscommon) as award winners.