Brave Dunboyne woman hailed for saving woman from drowning in the Boyne
A woman originally from county Meath, who decided to have a sandwich roll by the river Boyne in Drogheda, county Louth, ended up rescuing another woman who had gone into the water.
With the help of a life ring and other members of the public, Tara Poleon was able to get the woman out of the water.
Tara was credited with saving the woman’s life by the Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Service (BFRRS) who said it serves as a reminder for the public to never tamper with life rings.
Tara said, “I went to the shop for a housemate and I decided to get myself a roll.”
It was just coming up to lunchtime and Tara said, “It was a nice day so I said I would go down and sit at the water’s edge and feed some of it to the seagulls, I do that regularly enough.”
Tara was feeding the birds and, “not really paying a lot of attention to anyone around me. Then I saw somebody in the water.”
The person seemed like they were dipping into the water and Tara, who is originally from Dunboyne, county Meath, said, “I thought about it for a second and then thought it was iffy looking and I decided I would walk down and casually take a look.”
“When I did and I see the woman was floating in the water and her dress was around her and I knew something was wrong.”
She shouted to people on the nearby De Lacey pedestrian bridge, beside Scotch Hall shopping centre, to ring for help.
Tara made her way down to the waters edge while “going oh my God, what am I going to do? I would not swim across a swimming pool.”
“I thought time was of the essence and nobody else would have been close enough to get to her before she had been not breathing for too long.”
Just as she was getting into the water a man threw her down a life ring. “I looped it in my arm and got into the water and started heading towards the lady. It was brutally cold.”
“She was face down in the water, she was not moving at all.”
“She was probably 6 foot away from me and I was (in water) up to my chin, trying to walk on my tiptoes.”
“Again she was kind of getting away from me, going with the current, so I made a big lunge and grabbed her dress.”
The man who had thrown her the life ring had come down the steps and was walking along the rocks so Tara was able to shout to him to pull the rope and he managed to pull the two of them into the side of the river.
They were met by a boat crew from the Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Service (BFRRS) who brought the woman to their medical room at their base and looked after her until an ambulance crew were on scene a few minutes later.
Tara was also checked out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital to be assessed. She was allowed home a few hours later on Friday evening.
The woman she rescued was also taken to the hospital and her family have been in contact with Tara.
Jason Clarke, spokesperson for the rescue said, “Well done to the woman who saved her. With the help of the life ring this casualty’s life was saved.”
He said the rescue highlighted that, “life rings should not be tampered with, we get a serious amount of them being tampered with. They help save lives and this is an example of one they saved.”
He also said, “the good weather is bringing every one out to waterways.”
One of their calls last week was to a group of about 15 youths in the Boyne near Townley Hall on the Drogheda to Slane road.
“There was massive group playing in the most dangerous part of the river at the salmon traps. It is very, very easy to get caught up out there and get into the difficult.”
“Out there seems to be a hotspot and the kids don’t realise the undercurrents out there, especially when the tide turns. They can get dragged really quickly.”
He appealed to everyone and particularly young people to stay away from the river.
Meanwhile Tara revealed it is not the first time she has saved someone’s life .
She said she had performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on a woman in a restaurant in Trim, county Meath 4 years ago.