Belfast Telegraph

Co Tyrone family hail RNLI lifeboat heroes at big Croke Park game

The McCallion family are joined by RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew from stations across Ireland at Croke Park
The McCallion family are joined by RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew from stations across Ireland at Croke Park
Claire Williamson

By Claire Williamson

A Tyrone family who were rescued by the RNLI last year took to the pitch in front of thousands in Croke Park at one of the All-Ireland Hurling semi-finals at the weekend to raise awareness of sea dangers.

Cahir McCallion (10) and his sister Beth (8) were swimming close to the shore on a beach at Bundoran, Co Donegal, in May 2018 when they were caught in a rip current which dragged them out to sea.

Their father Ryan got Beth safely back to shore but was unable to reach Cahir.

With the help of locals, the Bundoran lifeboat crew rescued Ryan and Cahir from the sea.

The pair were transferred to hospital by helicopter and ambulance.

Both made a full recovery and the family shared their account of what happened that day, and their rescue, at half-time during the match in Croke Park.

Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Press officer Shane Smyth said: "We are so thankful that we were able to help Ryan and Cahir on that day.

"It was a lovely sunny day and the beach was very busy.

"Despite the good weather, the sea can be powerful and rip currents can occur."

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