Wednesday 23 May 2018

Woman swept to her death by rogue wave while fishing on rocks

A Coast Guard helicopter
A Coast Guard helicopter

A woman has died after she was swept into the sea by a rogue wave in Co Clare.

The woman, believed to be from Eastern Europe but living in Tipperary, was part of a group that had been fishing at Ballyreen south of Fanore.

It's understood the woman was swept off the rocks by a wave and taken out to sea.

The 53-year-old is believed to have been in the water for almost an hour yesterday before she was located by a boat crew from the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard.

The alarm was raised at around 9am when the Irish Coast Guard received a report of a person in the water at Blackhead in Co Clare.

Later it was confirmed the incident occurred further south at Ballyreen.

An ambulance crew and several garda patrols were first to arrive at the scene, while the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard was alerted and mobilised.

Despite dangerous conditions, with winds reaching force 6 to 7, a rescue boat was quickly launched.


Coast Guard volunteers carried out a sea search while the crew of the Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter, Rescue 115, undertook sweeps of the coastline. Teams were also sent to the scene by road and assisted from the shore.

The woman could be seen treading water for a time, and was later seen floating on her back before her friends lost sight of her.

Members of Doolin Coast Guard located the woman at about 10am. She was found face down in the water 300m offshore and over a kilometre north of where she had fallen into the sea.

Personnel quickly administered CPR before the woman was airlifted from the boat and flown to University Hospital Galway for treatment. However, she was later pronounced dead.

Gardai have spoken to several people who were in the area at the time and have confirmed they are treating the incident as a tragic accident.

A Coast Guard spokesman said: "Conditions were very poor and close to the limit which would have prevented us launching the boat.

"The first report was that there was a person in the water near Blackhead. We were told later that the incident was at Ballyreen. The rescue boat located the casualty and took her on board.

"The crew administered CPR before the casualty was winched from the boat onto the helicopter and taken to hospital in Galway."

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