Wednesday 24 January 2018

Lake Tragedy: Man who tried to rescue drowning woman (49) leaves hospital

Part of the lower Lough Erne at Killadeas, Co Fermanagh
Part of the lower Lough Erne at Killadeas, Co Fermanagh

David Young

A man caught up in a boating accident which claimed the life of a woman in Co Fermanagh has left hospital after treatment.

The man and woman both entered the water at the Round O jetty in Lough Erne, Enniskillen in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He reportedly jumped into the lough after the 49-year-old woman fell in.

A member of the public raised the alarm. By the time police and ambulance arrived at the scene the man had made it to land but the woman was unaccounted for.

She was later recovered from the water and resuscitation efforts were made to save her life. She died later in hospital.

The man was also taken to the emergency department of the South West Acute Hospital in the town for treatment. He has since left hospital.

The Round O is a popular lough-side visitor spot and the marina was packed with boats over the bank holiday weekend.

Councillor John Coyle said the community was in shock.

"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the woman who died," said the SDLP representative.

"There is great shock among everyone, tourists and locals alike. It's such a shock to lose a life during this holiday season."

Fellow councillor Rosemary Barton (UUP) said: "It is very sad that something like this should happen on what should be a fun time for families over the bank holiday weekend.

"I also commend the member of the public who raised the alert and the emergency services who reacted so swiftly to try to save lives during this incident.

"I appeal to everyone, whether they are boating or travelling on our roads, to be always mindful of how simple accidents can happen."

The PSNI said police and other emergency services responded to reports of a woman and man having fallen overboard from a boat moored at the Round O jetty at approximately 2.40am on Saturday.

Inspector Keith Hicks said: "On arrival the male was already out of the water. A search operation was implemented and a woman was taken from the water. Unfortunately she died a short time later in hospital.

"An investigation into the circumstances is now under way and a post mortem examination is expected to be carried out.

"Local police would extend their sympathies to the family and would offer thanks to all of the agencies involved in the operation."

It is the second drowning tragedy to hit the lake this year.

In April mother-of-two Luna McKinney (35), died after an accident on Lough Erne at Devenish Island, near Enniskillen.

Ms McKinney, who was originally from China, was checking on ropes attached to the boat when she fell into the water.

Her husband Stephen, who was alerted by the sound of the splash, dived in to try to rescue her.

When he couldn't locate her in the dark, he contacted emergency services.

The couple were living in Convoy, Co Donegal.

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