Search for man who fell into Shannon
Published 11/06/2014 | 02:30
A MAJOR search will continue today for the body of a young man who fell off a horse into the River Shannon.
It is understood the man, who is in his mid-20s, was sitting on the animal in a shallow part of the river – known locally as the Sandy – when he lost his balance and fell in.
He was dragged downstream by the force of the current and slipped under the water.
A major search and rescue was launched close to the University of Limerick at about 6pm.
A spokesperson for the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service confirmed that at 6.10pm they deployed a helicopter to assist in the garda co-ordinated search.
It is understood the missing man is a member of the local Traveller community. The drowned horse was found downstream a short time later.
Rescuers began searching a one-mile stretch of the river – but hopes faded when no trace was found by nightfall.
A large number of friends and family of the missing man gathered near the area where he was last seen last night.
"It seems he fell off the horse and was washed downstream," a source explained.
"Horses are a regular sight in the area where this incident happened. Travellers train their horses down there; the animals are put in the water while someone stands on the river bank holding a rope."