Thursday 27 October 2016

Teenager drowned after 'jumping 30ft' into the cold waters of reservoir

Shane Boggans
Shane Boggans

A Dublin teen drowned in a reservoir after jumping from a height of 30ft, an inquest heard.

Shane Boggans (16), a transition year student from Brookview Avenue in Tallaght, Dublin 24, went with a friend to Bohernabreena Waterworks on April 15, 2014.

The day was warm and sunny and the two friends planned to swim, though Shane had never visited the reservoir before.

The pair "didn't pay much attention" to warning signs prohibiting swimming at the hazardous reservoir, Shane's friend Kyle Finnegan told Dublin Coroner's Court.

"It was such a nice day and Shane and I decided it would be good to go up there," he said. They reached the reservoir at about 2.30pm.

Shane squeezed through a locked gate on a caged walkway leading to a pump house over the reservoir.

The walkway is for waterworks employees use only, to carry out maintenance. When Mr Finnegan saw the gate was locked, he warned Shane not to swim that day.

"When I saw the lock I said to Shane you shouldn't jump in today, it's locked for a reason," Mr Finnegan said.


Shane jumped - fully dressed in his t-shirt, tracksuit bottoms and runners - 30ft into waters estimated to be around 15-20 ft deep. The water temperature was 11 degrees.

"Shane jumped in but he didn't reappear for about a minute. He appeared shouting help, he was panicking in the water, but he'd gone under again before I got the life ring to him," Mr Finnegan said.

Garda Robert Whitty arrived at the scene at 4.10pm and searched the bank and bridge to determine where Shane entered the water.

He said the reservoir presents a danger to swimmers but the local authority, Dublin City Council, cannot stop people entering the water.

"It would be a hazardous area yes... Once you walk into the water it's a sharp drop," he said.

"The [caged pump house walkway] is very secure but unfortunately if people want to climb over the cage they can," Gda Whitty said.

Garda sub aqua diver Enda Broderick located Shane's body at 6pm. He confirmed the body was "fully dressed and not entangled on anything".

The cause of death was drowning and an autopsy found no evidence of external injuries.

Returning a verdict of misadventure, Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said he would contact the local authority.

"I will ask them to review public access to the waterworks but I am not sure what more can be done," he said.

"He [Shane] decided to go in, but it was extremely hazardous going in fully clothed, from a long drop down, into very cold deep water. It must have been devastating for the family," the Coroner said.

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