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Friday 19 January 2018

Young man drowns swimming in deep lake with friend

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

A 20-year-old man has died after he got into difficulty while swimming with a friend.

Cian O’Donoghue's body was recovered yesterday evening after he got into trouble while swimming in Lough Leane in Killarney, Co Kerry.

The young man was from Gortahoosh in the parish of Glenflesk, about 8km from Killarney.

It is understood the men swam out from Ross Castle near Inisfallen Island.

His friend alerted the authorities after he reached the shore and realised the man was not with him.

The victim, who was a strong swimmer, got into difficulty at about 5.15pm while crossing a deep channel in the centre of the lake.

Crew onboard a boat in the area at the time reported hearing shouts for help.

The Coast Guard helicopter from Shannon, along with the Ballybunnion Coast Guard Unit, were quickly despatched to the scene.

The body was recovered from Lough Leane – located about a mile from Killarney town centre – at 7.30pm.

The lake, also known as the Lower Lake, is the largest of the three famous lakes and is popular for boating but does not normally attract swimmers.

"He was a lovely young boy," said local councillor Michael Gleeson who used to teach Keith in the Monastery National School in Killarney.

"He was outgoing and interacted very well with other pupils. He was very well liked in the school."

A spokesman for Valentia Coast Guard said that lakes were often more dangerous than the sea for swimmers.

"There is less buoyancy in rivers and lakes due to absence of salt in the water and it is also much colder," he said. It is much more difficult than swimming in the sea.

"It's frustrating there are so many young people gone in this fine weather – it's a matter of educating people, really – they don't realise the danger," he said. "I've been here the past 30 years and I haven't heard of any drownings in those lakes."

The incident is the latest in a series of drownings since the soaring temperatures began earlier this month.

Irish Independent

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