By David Raleigh
Gardai are investigating a hoax 999 call made to emergency services in Limerick this evening of two females in distress in the River Shannon.
The 999 call was made around 5.37pm, sparking a major search and rescue operation.
Rescuers were informed that two females had entered the river at Thomond Bridge.
The search operation included members of Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service, Limerick City Fire Service, Gardaí, and Ambulance.
The Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter, based at Shannon Airport in Co Clare, was also deployed to the river to help carry out searches for the two reported female casualties.
“Emergency crews carried out searches of the area but then the gardai informed everyone that it was a bogus call. The search operation has been stood down,” said a source.
Dozens of hoax calls have been made in recent times about people entering the river in the Treaty City.
“These hoax calls are potentially drawing emergency services away from real incidents,” said the source.
“Someday emergency services could be responding to a hoax incident when a real call comes in, and then, it could have serious consequences for someone’s life,” they warned.
Anyone with information can contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061-212400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111, or any Garda station.