A teenage girl is fighting for her life after four Dublin scouts were swept into the sea while walking on rocks near Wexford's Hook Head.
Weather conditions from Storm Desmond are being blamed for a strong sea surge which swept the four, a woman in her 20s and three teens, off the rocks into the sea shortly after 2pm.
The Waterford-based Irish Coastguard helicopter was immediately dispatched, together with two local RNLI units.
The woman and one teen managed to scramble back to safety to the rocks. They were unhurt except for being shocked and having sustained minor cuts and bruises. However, two teens had to be rescued from the sea. A 15-year-old Dublin boy is being hailed as a hero for helping keep the 14-year-old teenage girl's head above water after she was apparently knocked unconscious after being swept in. Both were airlifted to Waterford University Hospital in Ardkeen.
The Irish Coastguard helicopter winch-man is also being hailed as a hero for his efforts to lift both to safety, having been concerned about leaving one teen behind while he rescued the other. The girl, who is studying for her junior cert, is in a critical condition, while the 15-year-old boy is in a stable condition.
A spokesperson from Scouting Ireland confirmed that the group were on a weekend hostelling trip to the Hook Head area. They had arrived on Friday and had been due to return home last night.
The group were attached to the 55th Dublin South Circular Road Scout Group, and it is understood that they were staying just one hour away from the Wexford beauty spot.
Scouting Ireland last night said that their Critical Incident Stress Management Team are working with all involved, and said they would like to thank the rescue services for their prompt response, adding: "Our thoughts are with those in hospital."
Meanwhile, a man was airlifted to hospital following a dramatic rescue on a Killiney beach after falling from the cliffs above. The incident unfolded early yesterday morning at White Rock Beach after Storm Desmond had died down.
The victim, a 30-year-old man, is said to have fallen from a height of around 30ft onto rocks below.