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Hero fireman Eli to be nominated for bravery award

Firefighter Eli Brace who jumped from Sarsfield Bridge to rescue a woman from the Shannon on Saturday. Pictures: Sean Curtin

Firefighter Eli Brace who jumped from Sarsfield Bridge to rescue a woman from the Shannon on Saturday. Pictures: Sean Curtin

  • by Mike Dwane
 

HE might have described it as just part of the job but a city fireman who jumped from Sarsfield Bridge to rescue a woman on Saturday is to be nominated for a National Bravery Award.

Sean Curtin’s photograph captures the dramatic moment that Eli Brace leaped into the River Shannon at around 5.30pm.

The Coast Guard helicopter also attended the scene and had attempted to lower one of its personnel by winch to reach the woman. When this proved unsuccessful, Mr Brace, a 36-year-old father-of-two from Ennis, jumped in to rescue the woman.

It is understood that a member of the public had seen the woman enter the water at Thomond Bridge and emergency personnel were already on hand as she was being swept under Sarsfield Bridge minutes later.

Limerick fire chief Michael Ryan will now issue a letter of commendation and nominate Eli Brace for a national bravery award under the Comhairle na Míre Gaile scheme.

“Our firefighters and all staff of Limerick Fire and Rescue Service are amongst the most highly trained in the country,” commented Mr Ryan. “As part of their regular training, they carry out exercises in swift water rescue techniques. Such training came to the fore at the weekend and we are delighted to have played our part in this rescue effort alongside the other emergency services.

“The firefighter in question was equipped and trained to enter the water as he did. He was wearing a water rescue dry suit, personal floatation device and a helmet also specifically designed for water rescue,” said Mr Ryan.

The woman, who is understood to be from Garryowen, did not suffer serious injury and is recovering.

 

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