AN inquest has heard how passers-by made desperate attempts to rescue an 11-year-old boy who died during a day at the beach.
Kyle Roche drowned off Youghal Strand in Co Cork at the height of the summer heat-wave as his horrified family looked on helplessly, a coroner in Cork was told yesterday.
He had been playing on the beach with his younger brother Dean, mother Vivienne and father Eugene at 5pm last July 12. Kyle had been called to come for his tea when he apparently slipped after being hit by a large wave on rocks near Moll Goggin's Corner. Strong currents then swept him out into the bay.
Passer-by Eugene Shiels leapt into the water but was unable to grab Kyle until fisherman Tommy Kennedy arrived.
"It is normally a very safe place to swim, but the currents here can be very treacherous," said Mr Shiels, who dived three times under the water and came within inches of grabbing Kyle.
"Tommy spotted him. He leaned over the side and caught him by the arm and brought him up."
Kyle was brought ashore at Youghal Pier and treated by paramedics before being taken by Irish Coast Guard helicopter to Cork University Hospital.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster ruled that the cause of death was cardiac and respiratory failure due to drowning.
Yesterday, coroner Dr Myra Cullinane recorded a verdict of accidental death as she recommended that a greater number of swimming hazard signs be erected in all areas where tides, rocks or currents may pose any risk to bathers.
Dr Cullinane described Kyle's death as a terrible tragedy and extended her sympathies to his heartbroken parents.