Tuesday 12 December 2017

Two men dead and teenager fights for life after three separate swimming accidents

Fergus Black and Caroline Crawford

A MAN has died and a teenage boy is fighting for his life after two separate swimming accidents in Cork yesterday evening.

A 21-year-old man has drowned after getting into difficulty while swimming in the River Lee late last night.

The man was with a group when he went into the water near Dripsey, Co Cork.

Gardai were alerted after he got into trouble at about 1am in the Inniscarra area.

The man's body was recovered from the water and later brought to Cork University Hospital.

Meanwhile a 17-year-old Transition Year student  is fighting for his life after getting into difficulty while swimming with friends in the River Blackwater in Cork. 

The incident happened around 6pm when he disappeared under water that was up to 15 ft deep.

His pals ran for help to a nearby house.

Last night, the youth was named locally as Chris O'Sullivan from Rathmore, Co Kerry.

The accident happened at Farrakeale on the River Blackwater near Knocnagree in north Cork, just a mile from the Cork-Kerry border. A garda source last night said: "The 17-year-old got into difficulties while swimming. The lads who were with him were not good swimmers and . . . they could not see him when he disappeared.

"They ran to a nearby house where there were strong swimmers and shortly afterwards those people managed to find him and bring him to the riverbank where CPR was immediately administered."

The boy, who is from the area, was airlifted to Tralee General Hospital. He was said to be in a serious condition last night.

The incident comes 24 hours after another  man drowned in Galway. The 26-year-old Lithuanian man had gone for a swim with friends at Ballyquirke lake in Moycullen, Co Galway, on Saturday evening. The man got into difficulty at around 7.30pm.

The Shannon-based rescue helicopter was alerted. They spotted a body in the water. The Casla Bay Coastguard Unit was scrambled and it recovered the man's body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

John Leech of Irish Water Safety urged people to be more aware of the dangers as they make the most of the good weather.

He warned people swimming in lakes to beware of the drastic difference in temperature between the land and water.

"People are drowning much faster and quicker in our lakes than in the sea," Mr Leech said.

Meanwhile, a German tourist was airlifted to hospital after she suffered leg injuries on Torc mountain in Killarney national park.

The alarm was raised around 5.30pm when the woman sustained leg injuries near the top of the mountain.

Twenty-five members of Kerry mountain rescue team were on their way from a training exercise when they heard the emergency call and brought the injured woman by stretcher to a spot where an Irish Coastguard helicopter airlifted her to Kerry General Hospital.

Irish Independent

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