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Sunday 18 March 2018

Lake swim ends in tragedy as young man drowns

Tom Shiel

A YOUNG man drowned yesterday after going swimming in a mountain lake.

The man, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, had been taking a dip in the remote mountain lake at Bangor Erris, north Mayo at around 4.30pm as temperatures soared in the region.

He was named locally last night as Alan McNeilly, one of a family of five, from the townland of Briska some miles from Bangor Erris.

The alarm was raised by his girlfriend, Charlene Barrett, who had remained on the shore of the small lake, after she realised she could no longer see him. A major rescue operation was launched after her emergency call to the Malin Head Coastguard in Co Donegal.

The Shannon-based Coastguard helicopter, the Ballyglass lifeboat team and local gardai all rushed to the scene around 20km south-east of Belmullet.

Members of the Belmullet RNLI lifeboat team, among them a number of sub-aqua divers, were also drafted in to help locate the missing man.


It is understood that the couple had reached the lake earlier in the day on a quad bike.

The rescue helicopter was also involved in a number of other call-outs including the airlift of an injured diver.

The man is understood to have suffered a dislocated shoulder in an accident and was winched off a boat in Donegal Bay before being flown to Sligo Airport. He was then brought by ambulance to Sligo General Hospital for treatment.

The helicopter was also dispatched to rescue a surfer who was reported to be in difficulties off Keel beach on Achill Island.

The local lifeboat team also attended the scene, however the surfer managed to get himself safely to shore without any assistance.

Irish Independent

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