Martin Cullinane jumped into the sea to save two young boys who were struggling against the strong current.
A Corkman is being hailed as a hero for saving the lives of two young brothers, aged 6 and 8 years old, who were drowning in the sea. Martin Cullinane, 46, was in his girlfriend’s apartment when he heard a sound from the water outside and looking out saw the young boys were in difficulty.
“I just didn’t stop to think. I ran down the stairs and dived in,” Cullinane told Cork radio station Red FM.
One of the boys was panicking and attempting to grab onto Cullinane and so he decided to bring him in first. Fortunately, another passerby had also stopped to lend a hand and he was able to hand over the first brother before heading back to save the second.
“I brought him to the quayside and a man with a beard who lives in the apartments pulled him up,” he said.
“I then swam out to the other boy who was tiny and was going under the water. I grabbed him.
HERO RESCUES CHILDREN FROM THE RIVER IN PASSAGE WEST. Martin Cullinane from Dublin Pike is talking to Neil about pulling two young brothers from the river in Passage West on Saturday afternoon. Witnesses have described it as terrifying. #NPRedFM firstname.lastname@example.org/ 1850 104 106 pic.twitter.com/QfFh3v6MTG— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) April 16, 2018
“I knew he was in a bad way because there was foam coming out of his mouth.
“It was a peculiar current as the tide appeared to be going in but the current was trying to pull us out.”
Eventually, Cullinane managed to bring in the second brother and was helped out of the water by the passerby.
“I held the boy, who was such a tiny little thing, in my arms. He wasn’t breathing and instinct took over,” the Corkman continued.
“I then put him lying face down and he gasped and started to vomit up water.
“I never saw so much water come out of such a small child.
"In the meantime, his brother was lying on the ground in the recovery position.”
Neil spoke to Martin Cullinane who saved the lives of two young children in Passage West after they fell in to the water near the playground.— Cork's RedFM (@CorksRedFM) April 18, 2018
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It was only once the boys were saved that Cullinane realized what had just happened and how cold the sea had been.
“The adrenaline was pumping so much from the minute I ran down the stairs, I didn’t even realize the sea was freezing. The reality is only hitting home today,” he added.
The young brothers are said to be recovering well but were kept in Cork University Hospital overnight as a precautionary measure.