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Thursday 22 June 2017

Six-year-old boy hit by speedboat

A six-year-old boy is fighting for his life in hospital after being hit by a speedboat.

Stuart Wilson was in the water on a wakeboard being towed by a boat when the accident happened on Monday evening off Cranfield beach, Co Down. His family was holidaying at the Shanlieve caravan park nearby.

Other holidaymakers at the blue flag beach looked on in horror as the boy was given first aid by an off-duty doctor and nurse in the area with their families. He suffered severe head injuries and is critically ill in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Police are investigating the incident.

South Down Ulster Unionist Assembly member John McCallister said: "The brain damage would be severe. He was revived on the beach and by the paramedics several times before getting to hospital.

"He is desperately ill although, with every hour and every minute that passes and he is fighting on, it may look more hopeful."

Stuart, the youngest of four children, is from Rathfriland, Co Down, and goes to Iveagh Primary School in the town.

His parents are Gary and Heather, who are well known in the town. His father works at Warrenpoint Harbour.

The accident happened at around 5pm on Monday. Kilkeel lifeboat, the coastguard and police attended while a rescue helicopter was requested but stood down as the child was transported to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry by ambulance, then on to Belfast.

Alan Pritchard, watch manager at Belfast Coastguard, said: "Seemingly the child was on his knees on a wakeboard being towed by a boat when another powerboat came from the beach and across the towed board carrying the child."

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