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Failure to help drowning pensioner hard to comprehend

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 02/04/2016

After the tragedy at Buncrana, it is hard to believe some people watched an elderly man struggling in the water at Bangor Marina and did nothing to help him
After the tragedy at Buncrana, it is hard to believe some people watched an elderly man struggling in the water at Bangor Marina and did nothing to help him

After the tragedy at Buncrana, it is hard to believe some people watched an elderly man struggling in the water at Bangor Marina and did nothing to help him.

He had fallen off his boat and was eventually rescued by a member of the nearby Coastguard Operation Centre. Fortunately, the man has made a good recovery.

This lack of action by others nearby was in stark contrast to the courage of footballer Davitt Walsh, who entered the icy waters at Buncrana and miraculously managed to save a small baby whose father handed her out of the sinking vehicle.

This was an example of the supreme heroism of a young man in exceptional circumstances, but it is still difficult to understand why the bystanders at Bangor Marina seemed to do nothing.

Perhaps they did not realise the seriousness of the situation, or they were in a state of shock themselves. However, the golden rule in such circumstances is to dial 999 for help. It is always wise to call in the experts and also to throw in a lifebelt if available.

We can all take steps to improve our own safety, and we publish an item today about the practicality of keeping a small hammer or other tool handy in our vehicles.

Read more

Coastguard 'lost for words' after bystanders fail to assist drowning pensioner in Bangor  

This could prove to be a life-saver in helping you to smash a window if your vehicle becomes submerged in water.

People may not be aware of the fact that, according to Dutch researchers, the electric windows in nearly all vehicles cease to work within a few seconds of being submerged in water.

Apparently, in Holland there are some 700 accidents annually involving vehicles in water, with around 50 fatalities, and the figures may be proportionately similar elsewhere.

No one should take such dangers lightly, and if lives could be saved by people keeping a tool in their vehicles, that would help to assuage the grief of Louise James and also provide a fitting legacy for the five members of her family who perished in Buncrana only a fortnight ago.

Belfast Telegraph

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