Father recalls night time search after his daughter and her cousin went missing

A teenage girl who was rescued at sea on Thursday after 15 hours in the water has said she has no idea what would have happened to her and her cousin if they werent found by a fisherman and his son.
Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were reported missing on Wednesday evening after going paddleboarding on Furbo beach in Co Galway.
They were found the following day by local fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan (18) near Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, clinging to the buoy of a lobster pot.
Were so, so grateful. Ive no idea what would have happened to us if they didnt find us. Were honestly just eternally grateful, she said.
Ms Glynn said she felt fine on the paddle board but that her legs collapsed from under me after she got onto Mr Olivers boat.
Ms Glynn said her cousin Sara was released from hospital on Thursday but that she had to stay overnight.
The teenagers father said he had feared the worst by Thursday morning when the women had been missing almost 12 hours.
Johnny Glynn recounted the frantic search he and his wife Deirdre had conducted on Wednesday night and Thursday morning along the Co Clare coastline across the bay from their Galway home on Newstalks Breakfast show.
The young women usually went swimming or paddleboarding on Silver Strand beach, but it had been closed due to Covid-19 so they went to Furbo beach, which they would not have known well, he said.
Sara Feeney (23) taken off the Coast Guard helicopter at UCHG on Thursday. Photograph by Aengus McMahon
Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued the two women off Inis Oirr island, with some of Patricks RNLI colleagues on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photograph: Joe OShaughnessy
His wife had called him later, concerned the girls had drifted out to sea. By the time he arrived at Furbo it was dark and he couldnt see anything.
His sister-in-law Helen (Saras mother) had called for help, and he was concerned as every minute they were going further and further out.
Mr Glynn said he then called a friend who works with the ferry to Doolin, Donie Garrihy, who told him he could see on the satellite that there were boats already out in the search, but Mr Glynn wanted a helicopter involved. By 10.30pm a helicopter had joined the search.
Mr Glynn and his wife stayed on the beach until 1am and then decided to drive around the coast to Co Clare to conduct a search on beaches there.
We thought it most likely that was the way they were heading because of winds, he said.
The couple arrived in Clare at 3.30am, but it was 5am before first light and they searched beaches from Ballyvaughan to Kinvara. It was a rough night, with heavy rain, he added.
Mr Glynn said he wanted to get as many people as possible out searching as he knew there was a narrow window of opportunity between first light and last light.
We were messaging people, asking them to get out searching, he said.
By 9.30am the couple returned to Galway to tell their three younger daughters that Ellen was missing, explaining we had to be fairly honest.
Mr Glynn admitted that at that stage he was not hopeful and said I just wanted to find them and I was just hoping that they were together.
At lunchtime they were informed that Ellen and Sara had been found. After talking to Ellen he found out that they had tied their paddleboards together and said I dont know how they did that.
When they saw the Cliffs of Moher, Sara and Ellen decided they had to head towards the Aran Islands otherwise they would be pulled out into the Atlantic.
They had a target. Their aim was to get to the island. It was really tough, the waves were very high, Mr Glynn said.
They said they saw the helicopters hovering, they were screaming, but they couldnt hear them. They could see boats in the distance. It was really tough going.
They were looking out for something to grab onto. They found the lobster pot and they clung on.
When they saw the boat, Sara said this boat is coming for us. It was the Olivers and they picked them up.
Mr Glynn said that when he saw the girls getting off the helicopter and in the hospital they were both wearing little hats which had been given to them by Patrick and Morgan Oliver.
They were hungry and the Olivers gave them whatever food they had on board and flavoured water, he said.
Mr Glynn said he wanted to thank everyone involved in the search and rescue for their help.