Tributes paid to 'pleasant and well-mannered' teen who drowned while swimming with friends
Boy (17) drowns in river while swimming with friends
A teenager drowned after getting into trouble while swimming with friends in a harbour on the River Shannon.
The tragic incident happened shortly after 5pm yesterday at Tarmon Harbour in Tarmonbarry, near the border between Co Roscommon and Co Longford. A group of young people were enjoying the warm weather at the harbour when tragedy struck.
It is understood the boy, named locally as Damola Adetosoye (17), jumped into the water before getting into difficulty.
Eyewitnesses said that friends of the youngster, understood to be from Newtownforbes in Co Longford, threw a life ring to him in a bid to rescue him from the water.
"It seems like he jumped in and suffered a cramp or something," one local woman said.
"They threw a ring to him and he seemed to grab on to it at first, but then he went under," she added.
She said some of his friends also entered the water to try to help but it was too late.
Describing the scene as the boy's friends desperately battled to save him, another woman, who did not want to be named, said they did all they could have done.
"They did exactly what you're meant to do," she said. "They threw a ring out to him and two of the boys jumped in, more than two. But they just couldn't [save him]."
The alarm was raised and a rescue operation was launched as locals scrambled in a bid to save the boy. A man who helped with the search from his boat eventually pulled Damola from the water.
It is understood that he was under the water for at least 20 minutes. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was placed in a waiting ambulance.
Family members of the teenager arrived at the scene a short time later and were visibly distraught.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Damola's GAA coach at Clonguish Og, Liam Belton, said he was struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. "I was his under-16 manager," he said.
"He was very pleasant and well-mannered, you'd know he was raised well," he added.
Damola also played at Melview FC soccer club, and coach Mark King said: "It's horrendous. All his teammates are devastated."