Many of The Wild Geese were ordinary men who faced adversity head on. Knowing what was the right thing to do they followed that path without hesitation. Last week another Man of Action flung himself into adverse circumstances because it was the right thing to do.
Mark O’Mahony heard cries for help off the coast of Ballydehob in West Cork and, seeing distressed splashing over a kilometre out at sea, he raced to get his kayak and paddled towards the commotion, while his wife called for help:
‘I assumed people were in the water. I got into the kayak but I only had a broken paddle, so I was struggling to get out’
Despite having a broken paddle it took Mark 15 minutes to reach those in trouble: three young men who’s boat had sank. They had tried to swim the 1.5 km back to shore, but the powerful swirling currents prevented them from reaching the shore.
‘I found the first guy and he was trying to swim to shore. He was about 200m from the other two, who were further out’
Mark managed to secure the man and started to bring him to shore, while the lifeboats that his wife had called headed towards the other two. All three men were saved and transferred to Cork University Hospital. One of the men was stabilised after being treated for water ingestion and hypothermia. The other two men were also treated for hypothermia but made a full recovery.
Baltimore RNLI official Michael Cottrell said that their recovery was due to the quick actions of Mark and his wife:
‘[Mark] should take a lot of the credit. He made a great effort to help and surely saved their lives. Those lads owe him a lot’
We’ll certainly be raising a glass to Mark and his wife! Well done!