Wednesday 22 November 2017

Two drown as heatwave grips country

Lisa Knight
Lisa Knight

Majella O'Sullivan and David Raleigh

TWO people have died in separate drowning incidents as the heatwave continues to grip the country.

A teenager and a young woman both lost their lives while swimming with friends in local rivers.

The devastated mother of Lisa Knight (21) said she was looking for answers about her daughter's last moments after she tragically drowned while going for a night swim.

Visibly in shock, Ann Knight said: "We just don't know what happened and we're trying to find out, but all we're getting is pieces of information."

The man who pulled the body of the young woman from the River Feale early yesterday morning said she had been warned not to swim there hours before she lost her life.

The lifeless body of Lisa, from

Caherhayes, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, was recovered from the river in the early hours.

Meanwhile, Abayomi Adefabi  (16), from Springfield Drive in Celbridge, was pulled from the water by friends after he got into difficulties in the River Liffey at the Castletown Estate in the Co Kildare town.

A group of seven friends were at a popular swimming and fishing spot, which had a lifebuoy at the scene.

Abayomi's friends told the emergency services that he had not been in the water long when he got into difficulty. They pulled him from the water at around 4pm, called for emergency services and began CPR on him.

He was rushed to Blanchardstown hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5pm.

John Leech, of Irish Water Safety (IWS), warned people of the dangers of swimming in lakes and rivers and urged people to avoid unsupervised bathing areas – and only swim in an area that has a lifeguard. "Our experience in heatwaves is that more people drown in rivers than anywhere else – they are the most hazardous watercourses of all," Mr Leech said.

"At the moment, we have thousands of people swimming in our waterways.

"The reality is when people swim in remote, secluded areas they are putting themselves at risk. I fear we could end up with more drownings between now and when the heatwave finishes." At her home in Co Limerick, Mrs Knight said Lisa was their second child, and her father Liam, older brother Michael and younger brother David were devastated.

The young woman had gotten into difficulty in the water in an area known locally as Powerhouse on the Killarney Road in the town, where she had gone swimming with her boyfriend and another male friend.

The alarm was raised shortly before midnight and by the time 37 volunteers from the local Abbeyfeale District Search and Rescue arrived at the scene, gardai from Newcastle West and a unit of the fire brigade were already there.

Christy Kelliher had the terrible task of recovering Lisa's body.

"Two of our own boys (rescue crew members) were trout fishing earlier that night and warned them (Lisa and the two young men swimming with her) to come out of it, as it was too deep," he said.

Irish Independent

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