Four brothers, who were visiting Ireland from the D.C. area, had just unpacked their towels after arriving at Portmarnock Beach near Dublin, where they had expected to spend a relaxing afternoon Monday. Before they could think about it, they were sprinting into the sea and swimming toward a girl on a pink flamingo-shaped raft who was floating away quickly, screaming as her father yelled for a lifeguard who didn’t appear. The boys swam as fast as they could during the almost hour-long rescue.
Declan Butler, his twin Eoghan Butler, and Walter Butler, 21, are strong athletes. So is their brother-in-law, Alex Thomson. Three had swum competitively, and Thomson, 24, is an ultra-runner. Walter had been a rescue swimmer on a Coast Guard cutter. Still it took them around 25 minutes to reach the girl, who had been caught in a riptide and swept out about a half-mile into the sea. On top of that, upon their return to shore, two of them had to go back into the water to rescue the girls father who attempted to come help when they were close, but not being a strong swimmer got himself into trouble. A lucky moment for the family, or so it would seem.
But what if it was more? You see the brothers had traveled to Ireland to celebrate the life of their recently deceased grandfather, whose brother drowned on the same date decades before the rescue. “It’s kind of like this godly, guardian angel kind of feeling,” Walter said, “that the same day he drowned 64 years ago is the day we actually saved the life of a 6-year-old girl.” Perhaps they had been drawn to that beach for just that reason on that day, at that time. The reward for the rescue was a simple one: the girl’s family visited the brothers at the house where they’re staying to thank them. “Seeing her jump around, kiss her mom, that was actually amazing,” Declan said.
What more could you need?
You can read more about your Good News Story of the Day and the Butler brothers here, and be glad that a little girl is safe with her family because of their efforts and a little providence.
Story and Image from The Washington Post.