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18th Jan 2013

Local Hero Saves Pregnant Mum And Her 10-Year-Old Son From Raging Kerry River

Six month pregnant Liz jumped in after her non-swimmer son Derek.

A pregnant mum and her son cheated death yesterday after being saved from a rough river by a local hero.

Liz O’Brien and her son, Derek, said they have Fabien Lugandu to thank for their lives today.

The 56-year-old good Samaritan hauled Liz and her 10-year-old son to safety after non-swimmer Derek slipped and fell into the River Lee in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Liz, who is six months pregnant, immediately leaped in after him.

She said yesterday: “He had gone under the water but I managed to lift his head.”

Her other three children Danielle, nine, Jamie, seven, and Aoife, three, watched screaming from the riverbank.

She added: “I forgot I was pregnant, all I was thinking about was to save Derek from drowning.”

The incident happened in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Dad-of-four Fabien, who had also been collecting his children from school, heard her screaming for help and raced to the scene.

The Tanzanian native said: “I heard shouting for help and I just dropped the schoolbags.

“I was only glad to be able to get them out safe.”

After some effort, he managed to pull the mother and child from the cold water.

Liz yesterday admitted: “Without Fabien, we would have drowned. He saved our lives, I can never thank him enough.”