Miraculous Escape from Drowning

Sligo Journal, August 28th 1829

On Saturday week a poor woman returning from this Town to her home on Dorran's Island, was obliged to cross a strand nearly two miles in extent before reaching it. It was about 4 o'clock in the evening when she entered on the strand - the tide had already begun to flow and was gaining on her with frightful rapidity at every step - but the fearful alternative of recrossing the channel, which borders that part of the shore she had just passed, rendered doubly dangerous by the current that had now set in with the advance of the tide, was not to be thought of. With every hope of assistance shut out from her view she had exhausted her feeble strength in a vain endeavour to gain the Island - the water had reached above her waist and she was still half a mile from the land. In this dreadful situation, with the sickening prospect of death in view, she was rescued in a manner the most miraculous, but in which the hand of Providence shone conspicuously.

Mrs. Arthur Cooper of Coopershill, who had a bathing Lodge on the Island, was amusing herself with a telescope from her window, when she observed the poor woman struggling with the waves. She lost not a moment in raising the alarm and dispatched messengers to the adjoining village for some boats to go to her assistance, but none could be found willing to undertake the hazardous experiment of venturing to her relief. Mrs. Cooper. finding that entreaties were unavailing, with instinctive humanity despatched her servant on a strong horse to her aid; but when within forty or fifty yards of her, the man alarmed at his own danger, returned without accomplishing his mission.

But Mrs. Cooper did not give up. She prevailed on three men for whom she procured horses to attempt once more saving the life of a fellow-being. Two of them, after proceeding a considerable distance, over-awed by the dangers they had to encounter, returned unsuccessful. The third, however, more intrepid than the rest, succeeded in reaching the drowning woman whose strength had been completely exhausted, the water having at the time reached her neck and she was only supported in an erect posture by her clothes floating around her.

The feelings of the poor woman may be more easily imagined than described when she found herself thus snatched from the jaws of death and restored to her family and friends. Words were inadequate to speak in terms of sufficient praise of the benevolent exertions of the amiable Lady who was thus made the instrument, under Providence, of rescuing her from an untimely grave.

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