Wednesday 26 September 2018

Teenager (14) drowns after jumping into Shannon

The scene of the fatal drowning at Tarmonbarry Harbour Marina, Co. Roscommon
The scene of the fatal drowning at Tarmonbarry Harbour Marina, Co. Roscommon

A youth has drowned after getting into trouble while swimming in the River Shannon.

The incident happened at Tarmon Harbour, in Tarmonbarry, on the border between Co Longford and Co Roscommon.

A group of young people were enjoying the warm weather at the harbour before 6pm yesterday when tragedy struck.

It is understood the 14-year-old boy jumped into the water and got into difficulty.

Locals said it appeared the friends of the youngster, who is understood to be from the Newtownforbes area, tried to help him with the aid of a life ring.

"It seems like he jumped in and suffered a cramp or something," a local woman said.

"They threw a ring to him and he seemed to grab on to it at first, but then went under."

She said some of his friends entered the water to try and help. Rescue crews, aided by locals, launched a rescue operation. A man with a boat eventually pulled the youngster from the bed of the river. It is understood he had been in the water for at least 20 minutes.

His body was placed in a ambulance before his distaught parents arrived at the scene.

Locals said the area was a popular spot with youngsters during warm weather.

However, they said children were given warnings to deter them from entering the water.


"It's a private marina but the kids do come down and jump in," said a local.

A woman described the scene as the youngster's friends battled to save his life.

"They did exactly what you're meant to do," she said.

"They threw a ring out to him and two of the boys jumped in, more than two, but they just couldn't save him. He was a big lad."

Locals organised a minibus to take the boy's friends away from the scene.

Meanwhile, a warning has been issued after a potential killer fish with an "excruciating sting" stung a number of people at a popular swimming spot.

Irish Water Safety has advised that anyone going to the beach at Brittas Bay needs to be wary of the weever fish and said they are most commonly found at low tide. A number of stings have been reported inflicted by the small sandy-coloured fish.

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