Monday 10 December 2018

Two men die in separate incidents after swimming in Lough Derg

Lough Derg.
Lough Derg.

David Raleigh and Kyle Ewald

Two men have died in separate incidents after swimming in Lough Derg yesterday.

In one incident a man in his 40s died while swimming near Portumna, Co Galway, while a man in his 50s died suddenly shortly after he had been swimming near Terryglass, Co Tipperary.

Sources said the two tragedies occurred around the same time on separate stretches of Lough Derg.

The Coast Guard was alerted by a caller shortly before 6pm who said a man had got into difficulty in the water near Portumna.

A major search and rescue operation was initiated, lasting several hours.

A number of units responded to the scene including Killaloe Coast Guard, Shannon Search and Rescue, Ballina Search and Rescue, as well as a R117 and Lough Derg Lifeboat.

"At 18:30hrs the unit were tasked to a missing swimmer North of Portumina bridge, also tasked was R117 from Waterford Airport, Lough Derg Lifeboat from Dromineer and crews from the NAS.

"A Delta Rib was launched from Killaloe while our D.class travelled by road and launched at Portumina slipway," Killaloe Coast Guard Unit wrote on their official Facebook page this morning. 

"Killaloe/Ballina Search and Recovery Dive Unit also responded to the incident with a dive team. An extensive search of the area was carried out over a number of hours and the casualty was located last night with the help of a local dive team."

The man’s body was discovered shortly before 10pm at Cappafallagh, Portumna and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

His body has been taken to Portiuncula Hospital for a post-mortem examination and the local coroner has been notified.

"Well done to all units who were involved in this incident," Killaloe Coast Guard added.

"Our deepest condolences to family and friends of the man involved in this tragic incident."

Around the same time as the tragedy in Co Galway was unfolding, emergency services were alerted to a separate incident at Terryglass, north Tipperary.

Sources said a man in his 50s, who had been swimming in the Lough, came ashore, and suddenly became unwell and died.

Commenting on the fatal incident at Portumna, a garda spokesman stated: “A man in his 40s has died following a drowning incident at Lough Derg, Co. Galway on the 5/6/2018. The alarm was raised shortly after 6pm when a swimmer got into difficulty.”

“A search operation was carried out involving units from Killaloe coast guard, Shannon search and rescue and Ballina search and rescue.”

“The man’s body was discovered shortly before 10pm at Cappafallagh, Portumna.”

Gardai said the man’s body was removed to Portiuncula Hospital “for a post-mortem examination”.

“The local Coroner has been notified,” they added.

The death of the man in his 50s in Terryglass is being treated by gardai as a sudden death and the matter has been referred to the area's local coroners office.

The man, who had been swimming in Lough Derg, became unwell after coming ashore, and died.

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