A seven-year-old boy with learning difficulties drowned in the sea after wandering off from his Aunt’s house, an inquest heard today.
Karl Moore, 7, from Inbhir Ide in Malahide, was pulled from the sea at Blackrock beach in Dublin’s Balbriggan only half a mile from the house he went missing from.
His distraught Aunt Catherine Moore told the Dublin City Coroner of the panicked search for Karl, who liked to swim, until his body was discovered less than an hour after he disappeared.
On the morning of July 3, 2004, while she was minding her nephew, Ms Moore said she went into the back garden for a few minutes and when she came back he was gone.
She told the inquest Karl, who had learning difficulties and an attention deficit due a chromosome abnormality and used a combination of words and sign language, had a tendency to wander off.
“He had a one direction mind, when he got out he just went in a straight line it didn’t matter where it led,” his aunt said.
His mother, Caroline Moore, said: “I had to keep windows and doors all locked at all times.”
Karl’s Aunt said: “If he got a chance to get out he would have.”
On his journey to the beach, his mother said: “He loved swimming.” But she said he needed armbands to keep afloat.
His aunt alerted gardaí around 9.40am and Gda Thomas Hargadon helped her search the immediate area around Cardy Rock, and they went on to search the estate, a building site and football fields.
A man walking his dog along Blackrock beach said he spotted the body floating on the water about 12-foot out from the deserted beach.
He ran back towards a designated swimming beach and alerted a lifeguard who pulled the young boy from the water.
Gda Hargadon from Balbriggan Garda Station said he was alerted by the marine rescue team that the body of a child was found on a beach near Black Rock.
“We could see three men standing there, Karl Moore was lying on the sand wearing a tracksuit,” he said. “There was no sign of life.”
Gda Hargadon said he was found around 30-minutes after he went missing and he had possible reached the rocky beach a half-mile from the house by walking through the football fields.
The garda said there were signs on the rocky beach that it was not suitable for swimming due to strong currents and the stones under the sea were uneven and could cause a person wading to slip in.
An autopsy report found Karl had died from ’dry drowning’ due to a cardiac arrest after becoming immersed in the water.
Dublin City Coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, who passed a verdict of accidental death, said he would have died almost instantly after getting into difficulties in the water.