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Monday 18 December 2017

Boy (9) loses his fight for life after rescue from sea

The Irish Coast Guard
The Irish Coast Guard

A NINE-year-old boy who plunged into the sea last weekend has lost his fight for life.

Aaron O'Flaherty, from Limerick city, died in a Dublin hospital yesterday, three days after he had been transferred there from Galway University Hospital.

The youngster had been enjoying a day out with his father last Sunday, when he fell into the sea at a popular shore angling spot close to Blackhead lighthouse in north Clare.

Initial efforts to reach the child with a lifebuoy were unsuccessful. It is understood that the boy's father then jumped into the sea after him and held onto the child for as long as he could.

However, in a heartbreaking moment, a strong wave washed over them and they became separated from each other. Aaron's father sustained a number of minor injuries in his efforts to reach him.

The cliffs are about 30-feet high at the location, while the area is known for its treacherous currents.

The alarm was raised shortly after 9pm on Sunday and a massive multi-agency search and rescue operation was quickly put into action by the Irish Coast Guard.

It is believed the child was in the water for about 30 minutes before he was located. The unconscious boy was recovered from the water by the Doolin rescue boat crew who promptly initiated CPR.

A winch-man was lowered from the helicopter and Aaron was taken on board and flown to Galway University Hospital.

FAMILY

On Monday morning, he was transferred to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin, where his family remained by his side until he passed away yesterday.

The search operation was co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard's marine rescue centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry.

Irish Coast Guard area officer Mattie Shannon said: "This is very sad, especially since we were hopeful that there would be a happier outcome. The search was mounted very quickly and everything went very well on the night.

"We located the casualty very quickly and he was airlifted straight away. It's a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with this boy's family."

Irish Independent

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