The quick action of a Bo’ness accordion band member stopped a woman from throwing herself overboard from the Cairnryan to Belfast ferry yesterday.
Ferry operator Stena has confirmed the facts of the story, and in a statement to Northern Ireland media has thanked the band - and by implication one man in particular - for preventing a “critical situation”.
Falkirk man Declan Chirray - who had been taking a smoke break on deck - prevented a tragedy happening by taking immediate action.
He was one of a group of musicians and supporters from the Bo’ness-based Forth Bridges Accordion Band, who were looking forward to one of their performance highlights of the year.
After the rescue the woman was safely returned to be with her travelling companions, and a Stena Line crew member stayed with the group in a cabin specially provided for the remainder of the crossing.
Later the Bo’ness band posted this message on social media: “We’re just off the ferry from Cairnryan Scotland to Belfast Northern Ireland.
“The quick response from our band member Declan saved the life of a middle aged woman who was about to throw herself overboard.
“He grabbed her as the young girls ran for assistance.
“Declan, Keevay, Korri, Myryn and Hayley we are so proud of you all. Well done to our young team of heroes.”
Declan Chirray (17) told the Belfast Telegraph the band had been travelling with the band to take part in today’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Enniskillen.
He had just gone outside for a smoke with his grandmother, also in the party, when he saw the potentially life-threatening drama unfolding - and immediately “just sprinted over and grabbed her”.