A YOUNG boy has lost his life after getting into difficulties in the sea off one of Ireland’s most popular beach resorts.
The boy (10) was apparently swimming with friends off Youghal strand in east Cork when he got into difficulty and was swept away in a strong current.
His friends ran to get help and several adults managed to drag the youngster unconscious from the water.
He was given immediately cardiac-pulmonary resuscitation at the scene before being air-lifted to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
The accident occurred shortly after 4pm with locals saying that all three major beaches in Youghal – Claycastle, Red Barn and the Main Strand – were exceptionally busy.
Eye-witness Trevor Nangle said that a hush fell over the crowded Youghal beaches as people realised that a tragedy had unfolded in their midst in the glorious sunshine.
"I saw the helicopter overhead and then the desperate efforts as they got the young boy on board and then headed off for Cork. It was really quiet around the town as the rescue was underway because I think everyone realised that there was an unfolding tragedy," he told the Irish Independent.
Trevor, who works for Community Radio Youghal (CRY), said that people were openly weeping around the pier as they realised that the boy was fighting for his life.
"It was terribly sad. There were people crying and hugging each other and asking if the little lad was OK. We only heard this evening that he hadn't made it and it is absolutely heartbreaking," he said.
The accident is the third water tragedy to hit Ireland in the space of 48 hours.
Two people drowned in swimming accidents in Limerick and Kildare on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Limerick, Lisa Knight (21) drowned after she went for a swim with friends late on Tuesday evening in the River Feale with friends.
In Kildare, Abayomi Adefabi (16) died after being pulled unconscious from the River Liffey at Castletown Estate.
He had been swimming with seven friends when he got into difficulty.
The teen was rushed to Blanchardstown hospital but was later pronounced dead.
Irish Water Safety have issued repeated warnings about the dangers posed by rivers, lakes and the sea in the current hot spell.