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Monday 23 October 2017

Vigil held for J-1 student fighting for his life following tragic swimming incident

Philip Leahy
Philip Leahy

Cillian Sherlock

A vigil was held last night for a Cork student J1 who is fighting for his life following a tragic accident on his J-1 trip.

Philip Leahy (22) from Ballyhooly, Co. Cork suffered an apparent cardiac arrest on a beach in Ocean City, Maryland.

The young man was swimming with three friends at 6.30am on Wednesday morning when they got into trouble in the choppy waters.

One of the group managed to reach the shore and call the emergency services.

Philip was rescued from the sea by Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) before suffering a cardiac arrest on shore.

He is said to be in 'a serious condition'.

The OCFD said in a statement: "During the rescue, the fourth swimmer began suffering from an apparent cardiac arrest.

"The victim, a 22-year-old J-1 student from Ireland, was immediately given CPR and transported to Atlantic General Hospital in very serious condition.

"The Ocean City Fire Department’s Rescue Swimmers urge beachgoers to swim only when the lifeguards are on duty.

"The beach patrol is on duty every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Remember, 'keep your feet in the sand, until a lifeguard is in the stand.'"

A representative from Ballyhooly GAA described the news as 'absolutely tragic'.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

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