Teenager is sixth person to drown in week

Safety organisations have warned the public to be extremely careful of water after the sixth drowning in a week.

Teenager is sixth person to drown in week

The latest victim died yesterday evening as he and friends were swimming at Ardnacrusha bridge in Co Clare.

He was named locally as Joe Killeen, aged 16, who came from the Meelick area.

David Toomey, 17, from Thomondgate in Limerick City, said about 60 people were jumping from the bridge and swimming in the water below.

“He [Joe] was with a group and trying to get from one side of the river bank to the other. He was near the first pillar of the bridge when he went down and under and disappeared from view. A few of the lads jumped in and I saw them trying to save him but he’d disappeared from view,” said David.

Rescue services recovered the teenager’s body a short time later and it was taken to Limerick University Hospital for an autopsy.

Meanwhile, a man has described how he made frantic but unsuccessful attempts to save a 10-year-old boy from drowning off a Co Cork beach.

Eugene Shiels was among several onlookers who tried unsuccessfully to save Kyle Roche who drowned in Youghal last Thursday.

He had been walking by the town’s Front Strand when he saw the tragedy unfolding. It’s believed Kyle may have slipped on the rocks and hit his head while swimming with his younger brother Dean.

Their mother, Viviene, was also with them at the time.

“I ran up the road and climbed down the rocks and dived in. I was screaming at people above to give me directions after I dived in,” said Mr Shiels.

He said he thought he saw the boy’s body three times just below the surface. But each time he dived down Kyle was swept away by the current.

Just hours after Kyle’s death, a 19-year-old man drowned at a lake in Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

With the hot, sunny weather set to continue over the weekend and into next week, people have again been warned to be extra vigilant near the water.

Irish Water Safety chief executive John Leech has urged people not to swim in unsupervised bathing areas.

“Last year lifeguards reunited 319 children with their parents. So we are not very good parents. That’s the reality. We don’t supervise our children carefully enough,” Mr Leech said.

The Irish Coast Guard is urging people to wear lifejackets and buoyancy aids when entering the water.

Drinkaware.ie chief executive Fionnuala Sheehan also warned people that swimming and drinking alcohol do not mix.

There’s also been a major run on the sales of paddling pools and parents are being warned that toddlers can drown in a small amount of water if left unattended.

Safety tips

- Never swim after consuming alcohol or food.

- Be particularly careful of young children wandering off.

- Always swim in areas patrolled by lifeguards.

- Swim in the zoned sea area.

- Swim with family or friends — never alone.

- Swim within your depth and parallel to the sea.

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