Search called off: One dead after two got into difficulty in river
Gardai have confirmed a man in his 40s has died - but initial reports of up to four in the water prove unfounded
ONE man drowned and a second survived after going into a river in the early hours of the morning.
A major search operation has now been called off after gardai confirmed that just two people - not four as first thought - had entered the River Avoca along the North Quay in Arlow, Co Wicklow.
A Garda spokesman said: "Following inquiries, it now appears that only two people had gone into the water."
The alarm was raised shortly before 4.30am when one of the men managed to get out of the river.
His friend, who was in his 40s, was recovered about half an hour later by search teams between the harbour wall and marina pontoon.
Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead and his body has been taken to hospital for a post-mortem examination.
Investigations are continuing into how the men got into the water near the Bridgewater Shopping Centre.
Both men lived in a local apartment. One was a Polish national. but it is not known where the second was from.
The Irish Coast Guard said emergency services continued to search the scene for three hours amid fears that another two men were missing.
The coast guard and Garda helicopters, Arklow RNLI, gardai, ambulance and fire brigade crews were involved in the dramatic operation with searches along the quay, in the river and out to the harbour entrance to the Irish Sea.
Jimmy Tyrell, operations manager of Arklow RNLI, said his volunteers in RNLI and sailing club ribs were involved in the search until it was stood down at about 8am.
"Conditions were good this morning," he said.
"It was a fine morning, calm with little or no wind."
By Sarah Stack
Scene of the tragedy