Wednesday 18 September 2019

'You would never expect something like this to happen' - Locals in shock as woman (30s) dies while kayaking

Roughty Bridge, Kilgarvan Photo: Google Maps
Roughty Bridge, Kilgarvan Photo: Google Maps
University Hospital Kerry. Picture: Domnick Walsh

John O'Mahony, Catherine Devine and Ian Begley

The body of a woman who got into difficulty while kayaking in Co Kerry has been recovered after an extensive search.

The alarm was raised shortly after noon yesterday near the village of Kilgarvan where the woman, who was aged in her mid-30s, had been kayaking on a river.

It is understood she was part of a group of five people who were kayaking on the river that flows into Kenmare, which is said to be a very popular spot among kayaking enthusiasts.

The group had been kayaking between the Loop Bridge and Kilgarvan village when the woman got into difficulty.

University Hospital Kerry. Picture: Domnick Walsh
University Hospital Kerry. Picture: Domnick Walsh

Members of the Coast Guard, fire service, gardaí and paramedics rushed to the scene to assist in the search operation.

The rescue crews searched the river for two hours until her body was found in the water about 2km from Kilgarvan.

It is understood the young victim was originally from Co Cork.

She will not be named until all of her relatives have been informed of the tragedy.

Her remains were brought to University Hospital Kerry, where a post-mortem examination will take place.

Local TD Deputy Danny Healy-Rae said it was an "appalling tragedy" that had left everybody in the village shocked and saddened.

He said he was driving from his home towards Killarney when an ambulance and fire engine, believed to be travelling to assist in the search operation, passed him in the opposite direction.

A Garda spokesperson told the Irish Independent that enquiries into the tragedy were ongoing. They have described the young woman's death as "a tragic accident".

"Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene of a fatal drowning incident which occurred in the Roughty River, Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, on November 4, 2018," said a spokesperson.

"At approximately 12pm a female in her 30s got into difficulty while kayaking.

"She was later pronounced dead at the scene and her remains were taken to University Hospital Kerry. Enquiries are ongoing."

Johnny Healy-Rae, who is also a local representative in Kilgarvan, offered his condolences to the young woman's family.

"My heart goes out to this poor woman who lost her life in this tragic way.

"The river is very popular for kayakers because of its fast rapids, but you would never expect something like this to happen.

"Although it's understood that she was visiting from Cork, it's still very upsetting to lose anyone so close to home," he added.

Gardaí in Killarney are investigating the tragedy and have appealed for witnesses to contact them on (064) 667 1160.

Irish Independent

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