‘Thankful to be here:’ Derry woman and her beloved dog are rescued from rising tide

A Derry woman has told how she is ‘so thankful’ she and her beloved dog are ‘still here’ after they were rescued from rising waters in Fahan by Lough Swilly RNLI.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 12:59 pm
Aoife Corcoran and her dog, Boris and on right, the Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat.

Aoife Corcoran and her two-year-old Golden Retriever/Poodle mix ‘Boris’ found themselves trapped by the tide after taking a walk near Fahan marina on Thursday evening.

The 25-year-old, from Fernabbey Drive, told the ‘Journal’ how she and Boris travel to the beach at least once a week and Thursday evening seemed like any other.

On their arrival in Fahan, the ‘tide was well out’ behind a coffee hut and the old marina.

As no-one was there, Aoife decided to take the dog down towards that location and let him off the lead ‘ for a run around without worrying about other dogs and people’.

They walked for around 15 minutes, before coming to a ‘small stream that was flowing into the ocean’.

“I never thought anything of it and Boris jumped over it and started running after some seagulls,” she said.

Aoife followed behind, but soon realised they were in danger.

“I noticed that the stream was getting wider and deeper and somehow Boris was on a small bit of land and I was on another and we were separated by the water. Panic started setting in and I rang my daddy, screaming.

“He left from our home in Derry and told me to ring the Coastguard. The man on the phone was lovely - he kept me calm and talked me through it.”

Aoife later found out that other people had seen them and also alerted the Coastguard and Gardai.

She said: “These people tried their best to reach us but the water was too deep.”

Aoife told how she ‘couldn’t feel the bottom’ of the water and had to crawl up ‘what was like a hill of sand’ to where Boris was. She added that it didn’t take long for the Lough Swilly RNLI team to reach her but it ‘felt like hours’.

“The relief when I heard the boat and saw bright orange, I’ll never forget,” she added.

Aoife and Boris are now both ‘doing fine’ but were badly shaken by their frightening ordeal.

Aoife said she is ‘so thankful’ they are both here and ‘escaped with a few cuts and bruises’.

“The work that these people do is incredible and it is all voluntary. Me and my family will be forever grateful for what they done and I encourage anyone to donate to them, no matter how big or small.”

Aoife and her family are now planning to organise a fundraiser for the RNLI.

On a post on the Lough Swilly RNLI Facebook page, the team said the incident was ‘time critical’ and thanked the member of the public who ‘quickly raised the alarm’ as well as An Garda Siochana for their assistance.

If you are in difficulty and/or see someone in the water, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.