Aparajita Gupta, 21, was visiting Ireland with her mother when they decided to visit a tourist attraction known as The Worm Hole, on Inis Mor, one of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway.
The Worm Hole is a naturally formed rectangular pool that ocean water pours in and out of. In a video (below) shot by Brian Smith, a huge wave can be seen sweeping Gupta off of the cliffside and pushing her into the Worm Hole, which is also known as Poll na bPeist.
Paramedic Seamus McCarthy and teacher Fionnuala Quigley were also visiting The Worm Hole when they saw Gupta being swept onto the rocks 40 feet below the cliffside.
“We were about to go when we saw this girl taking a video by the edge of the cliff. A giant wave came and just swept her off and down onto the rocks below,” McCarthy told The Irish Times.
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“Fionnuala ran to the nearest house to get help and call the coastguard or whoever ... I could see the girl trying to limp away to safety, but she couldn’t manage it.
“Her mother was hysterical and I went over to try to see if I could reach the girl, but I couldn’t. We got down part of the way, but no further — it was very dangerous.”
Other people pitched in to form a makeshift rope, which they lowered to Gupta after she managed to get to a rock and pull herself out of the water. “It was still dangerous on the cliff ledge and we sat her down to calm her before getting her all the way to safety,” McCarthy said. He stabilized her ankle, which was broken in the fall, and kept her warm before a helicopter arrived to transport her to Galway University Hospital.
“I tried to run, but it pushed me straight down. It was like being in a waterfall and that probably cushioned the fall,” Gupta, a student at the London School of Economics, said. “I was so scared because I thought the wave was going to come again. My ankle was completely smashed and the pain was bad.
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“Seamus saved my life and the policeman there was also wonderful. Everyone was so helpful to me.”
Gupta’s father, consultant gynecologist Krishnendu Gupta, flew in from Calcutta, India, to join his wife and daughter and thank the couple who helped save his daughter.
“I only did what anyone would have done,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy will receive a Seiko Just in Time award from Irish Water Safety for his actions.
Image via YouTube