The father and son who rescued the two paddle boarders who were missing in Galway Bay overnight were given a hero’s welcome when they returned to the docks in the city this (THURS) afternoon.
Patrick Oliver (38) and his 18-year old son Morgan were hailed for their role in saving the two females by correctly working out their location off the Aran Islands using tidal and weather information.
And while the father and son team were being welcomed back to their home port in their seven-metre potting vessel Johnny O, just over a mile away the relieved families of cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were overjoyed at Galway University Hospital as they greeted the arrival of the Irish Coastguard helicopter from Inis Oirr with the rescued paddle boarders on board.
The families of the two rescued females, including Ellen’s dad Johnny Glynn, who captained Galway United to win the 1991 FAI Cup, hugged each other as the pair were taken from the helicopter and taken by ambulance on the short journey to the hospital to be checked out.
Well-wishers greeted the two families as they made their way to the hospital while half an hour later another group lined the quayside to welcome home the father and son team, the latest in a long line of fishermen of the Oliver family from the Claddagh, who had made the remarkable rescue off the smallest of the Aran Islands shortly before noon.
Patrick Oliver praised the cousins for ‘doing everything right’ to help them survive the night on the bay when the warm sunny evening gave way to a thunderous night of wind and rain.
The identity of the missing pair became known during the morning with soccer clubs in the region raising the alarm after it emerged that one of the missing paddleboarders was a daughter of Johnny Glynn.
Glynn is an iconic figure in Galway, having not only captained Galway United to their sole FAI Cup success in 1991 but he also scored the only goal of the match and since then has been involved in developing dozens of young players.
Well-wishers rushed to greet him and the other family members at Galway University Hospital to rejoice in the rescue just as hope was beginning to fade.