THE fishermen who found two girls who were stranded at sea have insisted “they saved themselves”.
Patrick and Morgan Oliver located cousins Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn 17 miles from the spot they had went paddleboarding after 15 hours in the water.
The pair clung onto a lobster pot which was two miles south-west of Inis Oirr overnight before Patrick and Morgan found them.
The cousins had gotten into difficultly while paddleboarding at Furbo Beach on August 12.
Patrick told Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show: “We found them but they saved themselves.
“They stayed together throughout that night. Look the conditions out there, like when you’re out fishing, like it’s not easy.
“When we got them in the boat Morgan said ‘girls you’re all over Instagram’ and the two of them just went ‘ohhh no'”.
The girls told Ryan that they had realised they were in a serious situation when it got dark.
They also revealed they initially felt embarrassed that they would have to be rescued.
Ellen said they tried not to talk about what would happen if things went wrong – instead focusing on what it was going to be like when they got home.
They also admitted they sang Taylor Swift songs to pass the time and admitted they didn’t want to have any “panic-inducing” conversations.
The girls also revealed it was “discouraging” when night fell when they could see the rescue vessels but they couldn’t see them.
Sara recalled the moment they were rescued: “I think Ellen was resting at that point.
“I kind of thought I could see something approaching but I didn’t want to say anything just incase – you know at that stage you’re so exhausted.
“I was wondering if I was imagining this or is that really happening as it got closer I realised nope that is a boat.
“I told Ellen and we extended out the paddles and we started waving them. The relief was just crazy when we realised they were there to get us.”
In August, fisherman Patrick Oliver praised the cousins for “doing everything right” to help them survive the night on the bay when the warm sunny evening gave way to a thunderous night of wind and rain.
He said: “We headed out of the docks as soon as we got the word they were missing and with the wind that was there last night, we predicted where they might have gone so we said we would head there, between Inis Oirr and the Clare coast.
20 MILES ACROSS THE BAY
“They had travelled about 20 miles across the bay.
“We reckoned they might have gone 30 miles and that was our plan, to head that far and then maybe double back.
“We felt with the wind that was there they might be brought in a straight line and that’s what we tried to follow.
“They wouldn’t have been far from the shore.
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“It was a northern wind, that was what pulled them out to sea in the first place. They did everything right.
“They held onto one another, they didn’t lose touch and it can’t have been easy with the night that was in.
“They had buoyancy aids but they didn’t have wetsuits.”