Girl looks on in horror as mother drowns in sea at Tramore
A young girl playing on the seashore yesterday looked on in horror as her mother was swept out to sea and drowned during a family day out.
Rescue services and onlookers fought in vain to revive the 39-year-old woman after she was recovered from the water while her daughter -- believed to be between three and nine years of age -- was comforted by family members.
The tragedy unfolded early yesterday morning in the seaside town of Tramore, Co Waterford, as the woman and her young daughter were walking along the beach at 8.30am.
Two women, who were related to the woman and her daughter, raised the alarm shortly after 8:40am.
Gardai last night confirmed that the woman had been playing with her daughter at the edge of the shore when she was swept out to sea.
The Tramore RNLI and the Waterford Coast Guard helicopter were dispatched after the alarm was raised.
Gardai from Tramore responding to the 999 call found the child safe onshore but her mother floundering in the water.
A local man in his 60s who witnessed the tragedy, but who did not want to be named, helped to recover the unconscious woman from the sea.
Frantic efforts were made to resuscitate her on a nearby slipway but she remained unconscious and was airlifted to Waterford Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead at around 9am.
The woman's name has not been released after her family appealed to the media for privacy as they come to terms with their horrifying ordeal.
Sea conditions were not rough at the time of the accident and there are no undertows or strong currents at that particular beach.
However, the local man said the water may be considered somewhat treacherous for someone who isn't used to the sea.
"She may have possibly slipped from the beach," he said.
Tramore town mayor Maxine Keoghan confirmed that the woman was not a local resident and may have been a tourist. She said the tragedy had shocked the seaside town.
"It's a desperate tragedy. Nobody here remembers this kind of an accident before," she said. "All we can do is give our sympathies to the family."
Meanwhile, two men were praised for their bravery after they also plunged into the sea to save a woman from drowning in Co Kerry on Tuesday night.
The men, from Shannon Estuary, jumped into Tarbert Pier after they saw a woman face down in the water at around dusk.
The 45-year-old woman, believed to be from Glin in Co Limerick, fell into the water at the pier at around 10pm.
She is believed to have been in the water for around 40 minutes. She was treated for shock and hypothermia but was otherwise uninjured.