Thursday 21 September 2017

Father dies after kayak capsizes off coast

Tragic: Paddy McCarrick. Photo: James Connolly
Tragic: Paddy McCarrick. Photo: James Connolly

Paddy Clancy

A 62-year-old kayaker has died after getting into difficulty off the Co Sligo coast.

The man was in a group of up to 10 kayakers who were enjoying a paddle off Aughris Head on Monday evening. The man, who was named locally as Paddy McCarrick, was pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sligo University Hospital.

The group went out from Aughris Pier and Mr McCarrick, who worked at Sligo University Hospital, was on a two-person five-metre kayak.

Mr McCarrick's friends told rescuers his kayak capsized and he was unable to right it.

The alarm was raised with Malin Head Coastguard by a passer-by at around 8pm.

He managed to free himself from the device, but couldn't climb back on.

Ambulance

Other kayakers closed in and told him to hang on to the bow or stern of one of their kayaks.

As they made their way back to shore, with Mr McCarrick hanging on, witnesses said he seemed to "take a turn" as if he was suffering cardiac arrest.

When the air ambulance arrived at the scene, Mr McCarrick had been lifted on to rocks and CPR was administered.

Mr McCarrick, a father-of-two from the Riverside area of Co Sligo, was a keen watersports fan but only took up kayaking in recent years.

A friend, who asked not to be identified, said: "He took up kayaking on Lough Gill and became immersed in it.

"He used to kayak on the lake, but he hadn't much experience kayaking off-shore out at sea," the friend said.

His friend said Mr McCarrick helped to build a provisions cottage on Church Island on Lough Gill as a memorial to people who drowned in the area some 30 years ago.

A report has been prepared for the Sligo coroner.

Mr McCarrick's funeral Mass will take place at St Anne's Church, Sligo, on Friday.

Meanwhile, the local community in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, is rallying around the brother of Stephen Hoare (25) who drowned on Monday.

Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran Bourke said the town was "devastated" by the tragedy, but that efforts would now be made to support Martin Hoare.

"There's lots of good people in the town that will give him support and he's getting that," he said.

Irish Independent

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