Belfast, Ireland — Irish cabbie Phil Hamilton made headlines this week after deciding to drive over to the southern tip of the continent from Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim to pick-up an injured regular customer.
The whole trip, according to reports, totaled to 1,714 miles or 2,700-kilometer drive.
Mr. Hamilton’s regular, Jim Moore, reportedly was having a holiday vacation in Spain. Suddenly, 58-years-old Jim was declared missing for 72 hours after going on a punters’ club break.
Friends set up a search party as well as a social media campaign to try to track him down.
Eventually, they found him in a hospital being treated for a head injury following a fall. Doctors advised Mr. Moore that he should avoid flying for a couple of months due to his injury.
Consequently, this prevented Jim from going back home to Northern Ireland. But fortunately, Mr. Hamilton agreed to turn off his meter in order to get Jim back to Northern Ireland.
“I can’t wait until the next fare I get asks me, ‘What’s the longest taxi journey you have done?’, to see their face when I say it was a waiting return from Newtownabbey to Benidorm and back,” Mr. Hamilton joked.
Mr. Hamilton’s taxi firm 365 Taxi, as well as a number of Jim’s friends, have clubbed together to try and fund the trip. The journey could potentially take around 28hours to drive, but Phil is determined to get his pal back home.
“Jim is a regular customer of 365 taxis,” Mr. Hamilton said. “And when we heard he was unable to travel by air, we decided we’d send a taxi out to Spain to bring him back to Newtownabbey to reunite him with his family and friends.
“He has spent time in a Spanish hospital on his own separated from friends and family and now we’ll get him in the car and we can have a good chat on the way back. I’ll be driving myself but the family are keeping me company.”
A spokesperson for 365 Taxi also released a statement regarding cabbie Mr. Hamilton’s heroic act.
“It’s fair to say here at 365 Taxis we really are more than just a taxi company. Phil should arrive in Benidorm on Saturday or Sunday to pick up his passenger and we wish them all well.”
Furthermore, Mr. Hamilton added: “It was such a relief to hear that Jim had been found after he’d been missing, and even better news that he’s out of danger now.”