Monday 23 October 2017

Sun seekers shock as man's body washed ashore

Pat Flynn

A BEACH lifeguard battled to save a man's life after his body washed up on the shore.

Hundreds of people were on the beach in Kilkee, Clo Clare, when the man's body was discovered.

The alarm was raised at approximately 5.50pm when someone said there was someone in the water.

It's understood a swimmer spotted a man face down close to the shoreline.

A number of people in the area walked into the surf to try and locate the person while a lifeguard was alerted.

The man, believed to be in his 50s, was found in a face down position in the water and showed no signs of life.

Local man Manuel Di Lucia Jnr was one of those who discovered the unresponsive.

"He just washed up at my feet," Mr Di Lucia said.

"Someone said they saw a body in the water and I walked out a bit and there was a man.

"I thought it was a mannequin at first but we pulled him from the water onto the beach. The lifeguard came down and she started CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

"After a while, the lifeguard told me to go and get help so I got the other lifeguard and someone called the guards and ambulance.

"We were working on him for 20 minutes, maybe half an hour, before the ambulance arrived. The paramedics gave him several shocks with the defibrillator and worked on the man for another 20 minutes," Mr Di Lucia said.

Volunteers from the local unit of the Irish Coast Guard also responded to the scene to lend assistance while paramedics requested the HSE's air ambulance to attend but it was tied up with another incident in Co Offaly.

The HSE's National Aeromedical Coordination Centre (NACC) asked the Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter to attend the incident instead.

The gravely ill man was transported by road to the local GAA field where the helicopter had set down. The man was airlifted to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick where he was pronounced dead at short time later.

It's believed however that the man had been in the water for several minutes before being spotted and may have already been deceased before being taken ashore. There was speculation last night that the man may have suffered a heart attack or another episode.

A postmortem examination was expected to be carried out later today.

Gardaí located the man's clothing on beach however no identification was discovered.

It's understood that the man was alone at the time and gardaí were last night trying to identify the victim.

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