Pop superstar Taylor Swift has sent a personal letter to two Irish women who found comfort by singing one of her songs when they were stranded in the Atlantic Ocean for 15 hours.
Cousins Ellen Glynn and Sara Feeney found themselves in a life or death situation in August 2020.
Ellen was an experienced paddleboarder and her cousin had recently taken up the sport when they decided to go for a short spin off the coast of Galway Bay.
However, things quickly turned bad as a change in the wind and blew the paddleboarders further away from the shore than they planned.
The girls tried to paddle back to safety but the wind and the current were too strong and they were dragged out to sea.
They had set off at 9.30pm for what was supposed to be a quick ride, but spent the night in freezing temperatures, torrential rain, and lightning storms.
The cousins were drifting in the Atlantic Ocean for a frightening 15 hours before they were found clinging to a buoy by a father and son team of fishermen. They were 27km away from the Furbo Beach where they had set off.
Thankfully the cousins survived the ordeal, and their story has been turned into a documentary by RTE.
The girls revealed that once they knew they were in real trouble, they secured their paddleboards together and sang songs to try and keep their spirits up.
One song in particular that was mentioned was Taylor Swift’s Exile.
Ellen, who was 17 at the time of the terrifying ordeal, said: “I’d say at first Sara thought I was insane, but then she started singing along and it was a bit of a distraction.”
The news of the cousins’ frightening experience reached US music megastar Taylor Swift.
She was moved by the story and sent Ella and Sara a letter congratulating them on their spirit and bravery.
She also sent the girls a painting and thanked them for thinking of her song in their time of need.
Ellen revealed that she and her cousin are still coming to terms with what they went through almost a year later.
She said: “Sometimes I just want to talk it out, and I’m so lucky that there’s amazing people around me that I have there to listen.
“And then other times you just feel like ‘no, that wasn’t me, that never happened’, and it’s just trying to find the balance and getting back to normal.”
The RTE documentary ‘Miracle in Galway Bay’ is available to watch on their online player.
Here is the YouTube video of Taylor Swift’s Exile.