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Search for father (34) swept away after kayaking accident to resume

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Pamela Hyland leads members of the Kildare Civil Defence boat unit search for the body of Declan Reid in the River Barrow at Ardreigh Lock near Athy Co. Kildare. Photograph by Gerry Mooney

Pamela Hyland leads members of the Kildare Civil Defence boat unit search for the body of Declan Reid in the River Barrow at Ardreigh Lock near Athy Co. Kildare. Photograph by Gerry Mooney

Pamela Hyland leads members of the Kildare Civil Defence boat unit search for the body of Declan Reid in the River Barrow at Ardreigh Lock near Athy Co. Kildare. Photograph by Gerry Mooney

The search for the missing man who was swept away by strong currents on the River Barrow in Kildare after a boating accident with his young son will resume this morning.

The ongoing, multiagency search operation taking place at the River Barrow near Athy has ceased for the evening and will recommence tomorrow morning,” gardai confirmed last night.

The man, named locally as Declan Reid (34), had been kayaking with his eight-year-old son at Ardreigh Lock near Athy beside his old family home at around 3pm when their boat overturned.

Mr Reid managed to keep his son afloat and raise the alarm, and a heroic young man who was passing by jumped in and made it to the riverbank after rescuing the boy.

But when he went back to save Mr Reid he could not be seen.

Mr Reid’s father jumped into the river in a frantic effort to find his son but by then the current is believed to have swept him downstream,.

He was forced to retreat back to the safety of the riverbank.

The search was launched immediately and continued until light faded on Sunday night.

It resumed again on Monday and at first light yesterday but it was stood down again when darkness fell last night.

Locals and family members looked on helplessly from the lock as the search was carried out.

Mr Reid’s partner, who is seven months pregnant, also waited patiently and quietly for word.

Members of the Civil Defence and the Garda Water Unit are involved in the search, focusing on the riverbanks from Ardreigh Lock towards Levitstown around 6km down the river towards Carlow.

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Yesterday they carried out a painstaking search inching along the riverbank which is overgrown in some parts and is also undercut by the river in others.

Garda divers linked together on a line also searched the riverbed and around trees which have fallen into the river over the years.

Visibility was only two feet at best and the water temperature around 6C, making search conditions difficult.

The gardai and Civil Defence teams had coordinated their radio signals so that all search personnel had a common channel for communication.

The search teams were estimated to comprise more than 40 people including local volunteers.

The Civil Defence moved a sophisticated mobile communications centre onto the site yesterday to coordinate the search effort, and used sonar and trained dogs in the search as well.

Declan Reid worked in the plumbing and heating business and lived in Dublin with his partner. His father Paul runs a plumbing business from Ardreigh House, the former lock-keeper’s house beside the accident site where the Grand Canal meets the River Barrow.

Herald


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