A tourist who saw a man in trouble in the Liffey jumped in to save his life, but had all his belongings stolen in the process.
With the lovely weather we've been having, people have been finding interesting ways of cooling off, and one particular Dubliner decided that a dip in the Liffey would do the job nicely last Saturday. However, he ended up getting in to difficulty, until one heroic bystander jumped in to save him.
Joe Sheehan is an engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who has spent the summer studying in Oxford as part of an exchange program, and was visiting Dublin to see the place where his ancestors came from. According to The Independent, Sheehan's grandfather is 100% Irish, as he claims himself, so Joe has a close connection with the country.
He also happens to be a lifeguard, and seeing that the man was in trouble, he emptied his pockets and jumped in to save him. "I was just standing on the bridge and watching," Joe said. "His head started to go under so I ran around to the side and took everything out of my pockets, took my trousers and shirt off" before diving in and rescuing the man.
Pic via Irish Independent
It was more or less the first thing he'd done in the city, having only arrived that evening and when he emerged from the water, he found that his Samsung Galaxy phone and his wallet with €110 and £40 in it had been stolen, along with all his cards and train tickets. However, there were a few more good Samaritans around on the scene immediately to help Joe, making sure they gave him some money for transport and food, and they took him straight to the Garda to report the crime.
Obviously, the only solution to calm the nerves was a good pint of Guinness, so Hugh, Katie and Cathal, the three bystanders who helped him out, decided that they'd take him on a night out and show him a proper Irish welcome, as you can see in the main picture above.
It was a great night for the new group of friends, with Joe even lodging with his friends, given that he had nowhere else to stay. News reached home of the fact that he'd lost everything during his heroic rescue, so a crowdfunding campaign kicked off to raise the money to help him replace everything, with any money above the goal going to charity.
While Joe ad a bad start to his trip, here's hoping that the kindness of the three friends was more than enough to make up for it and leave him with a much better impression.