Wednesday 13 December 2017

'I'm just numb... we tried our best': Dark cloud over town as man (25) dies after getting caught in river whirlpool

Stephen Hoare (25) died after getting caught in river whirlpool
Stephen Hoare (25) died after getting caught in river whirlpool
The river beside Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir. Photo: Arthur Carron

Ian Begley and Cathal McMahon

A 25-year-old man has drowned after getting into difficulty while swimming in a river with friends in Co Tipperary.

Emergency services were called to the scene in Carrick-on-Suir shortly before 5pm yesterday after receiving reports of a man in difficulty while swimming in the River Suir.

The victim was named locally last night as Stephen Hoare, who is originally from Cashel but had been living in Carrick-on-Suir in recent times.

It is understood the 25-year-old got stuck in a whirlpool and was unable to get out.

As Mr Hoare got into difficulty he called out for help and his friends raised the alarm.

The Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin sent Rescue 117 helicopter and crew to the scene from Waterford.

Stephen Hoare, who drowned in Carrick-on-Suir
Stephen Hoare, who drowned in Carrick-on-Suir

They were joined in the search by gardaí, local fire services and divers.

Body

The river beside Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir. Photo: Arthur Carron
The river beside Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir. Photo: Arthur Carron

A spokesman confirmed that Coast Guard members spotted a body in the river shortly after 6pm and they directed boats to the location.

Mr Hoare was recovered from the river by a local diver and brought ashore close to the river rescue service's base along the quay in the town of Carrick.

Attempts were made at the scene to revive him but were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead close to the river.

Mr Hoare's remains were later transferred to Waterford University Hospital where a post-mortem examination will take place.

He had been swimming at the rear of Ormond Castle in the town when he got into difficulty.

A friend of Mr Hoare's told the Irish Independent of the frantic efforts his friends made to pull him from the water.

The man, who did not want to be named, said he is still in shock at the tragedy.

"As soon as I noticed that he was in trouble I dived into the water and tried to get him back, but I just couldn't get to him," he said.

"I haven't processed what has happened yet, I'm just numb with shock.

"There was nothing that we could do.

"The whirlpool was just too powerful for us to rescue him. We tried our best."

Another man who was at the scene praised the efforts of the emergency teams.

He said: "He was out swimming with his brother and some friends when he got into trouble.

"He was calling for help, but there was nothing anyone could do.

"He was trapped by the moving current and just disappeared.

"His brother was lucky to get out as he couldn't swim himself.

"It's so sad and I can't believe this has happened.

"There was a helicopter and a lot of emergency services around here to try and revive him.

"When they got his body out of the water they wouldn't let his brother see him as it would have been too much for him."

The stretch of the River Suir in which the man drowned is a popular swimming spot, particularly during spells of good weather.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Imelda Goldsboro said the drowning had left people in the town stunned.

She said: "This tragedy has cast a dark cloud over Carrick-on-Suir and has left a town in mourning over the loss of a young life."

Irish Independent

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