Scouting Ireland probe after two scouts swept into sea in Wexford

Scouting Ireland is conducting a thorough review of protocols and procedures after two of its venture scouts were swept out to sea in Co Wexford on Sunday.

Scouting Ireland probe after two scouts swept into sea in Wexford

The pair, a boy and girl aged 15, remained in hospital yesterday with the girl described as being in a critical condition. They were among four children swept off rocks on which they had been walking at Hook Head.

While two boys managed to pull themselves ashore, the other two could not get out of the water in which there had been a powerful swell due to Storm Desmond.

Emergency services were on the scene swiftly but, by the time they got the pair from the water, the girl was unconscious. Both were airlifted to hospital.

Scouting Ireland said yesterday it is providing support to the 14 venture scouts and their leaders who were on the visit to Hook Head.

“Two of our venture scouts remain in hospital and our thoughts are with them and their families at this time,” it said in a statement. “This is a very serious accident and everyone in the scouting community is shocked by it.

“The young people concerned made courageous efforts to support their friends who were swept into the sea by a freak wave.”

Scouting Ireland pointed out that it is Ireland’s largest youth organisation with more than 50,000 members and said the welfare and safety of those members was of paramount importance.

“We will therefore be undertaking a thorough review of this incident and of our protocols and procedures,” it said.

Meanwhile, Met Éireann is forecasting further stormy winds and heavy rain over the next 36 hours.

Today, there will be heavy “possibly thundery” showers along the west coast early this morning which will push eastwards during the morning, becoming widespread for a time.

While that will clear to drier, cooler, brighter conditions this afternoon, there will be “fresh to strong” southerly winds, the experts advise.

The winds will then take a turn for the worst tomorrow. Met Éireann said there will be strong and gusty southwesterly winds which will be up to gale force in parts of the South-West, West and North.

“There will be some dry spells, mainly in the Midlands, East and South, but more rain will spread from the Atlantic, some of it will be heavy,” it said.

From tomorrow night on the winds will ease slightly but it will become cold.

Thursday will be a cold, breezy day, with widespread showers, many heavy, with some of hail and a few may fall as sleet over Ulster. Temperatures will dip to zero overnight. Met Éireann said early indications suggest the weekend will be cold, with a mix of sunny spells and scattered showers, some possibly wintry on high ground.

“Very cold nights are expected with sub zero air temperatures, with frost becoming severe in places,” it said.

With just part of the winter behind us we have already had to put up with Storms Abigail, Barney, Clodagh and Desmond. That means there is still plenty of time in the coming months for Eva, Frank, Gertrude and, if we are unlucky, Henry, Imogen and Jake to make an appearance. The names were created after Britain’s Met Office and Met Éireann held a pilot project giving the public the chance to vote online to name storms that may hit over the autumn and winter.

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