Teen, 13, drowns in ‘tragic accident’ at reservoir

Teenagers paid tribute online last night to their friend who drowned in what the Irish Coast Guard said was "a tragic accident" at a reservoir in Co Louth.

The 13-year-old, named locally as Gareth McGuirk, is believed to have gone to the Rose Hall reservoir to swim with friends because of the hot weather.

A number of the youngsters went into the lake, but after a few minutes Gareth got into difficulties. Despite efforts by his friends, they were unable to rescue him.

The Irish Coast Guard was alerted at 3.34pm and it’s Drogheda unit attended along with divers from the Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Service (BFRRS). Two divers from the BFRRS recovered the body at 5.10pm.

Dermot McConnoran, officer in charge of the Irish Coast Guard Drogheda unit, said: “We saw one life-buoy and it was on the far side of the water. We would like to see them every 10 to 20 metres at reservoirs, lakes and other inland waterways. Unfortunately, there was only one on this occasion.”

Both the Irish Coastguard and the BFRRS said that the water become suddenly very deep at the reservoir and goes from a depth of a few inches to between 20 and 30 feet.

The boy’s body was recovered in about 30 feet of water and approximately 30 feet from the shore.

Efforts were made by his friends to save him — at one point they all held hands as they struggled to reach him and get him ashore.

His Facebook page was quickly filling with memories and tributes from his friends. His body was removed to the morgue at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and a post mortem will be carried out today.

Gardaí said that a file will be prepared for the Coroner and an inquest will be held later this year.


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