Gardaí have said they have formally requested the assistance of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, after a 12-year old girl sustained serious injuries in a boating incident in Limerick yesterday.
The girl and three others had been travelling in a rowing boat when it capsized near the Salmon Weir, near Thomondgate, around 10am on Saturday.
The overturned boat was found by members of Limerick Fire Service who were performing a routine check of the river.
The firefighters cut the girl free from underneath the boat as her hair had become entangled in the boat’s outriggers.
They performed emergency first aid on route to a slipway in Limerick city where the girl was met by paramedics who helped stabilise her.
The girl was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick but has since been transferred by road ambulance to Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin where she remains in a critical condition.
Members of the boat club where the girl had set off from yesterday have so far not made any comment.
It’s understood a support boat was travelling alongside the girls’ boat at the time it capsized.
It is unclear if the girls were equipped with flotation or life jacket devices.
Gardaí said they had to wait until 9.30pm last night for a low tide to safely remove the boat from the river.
The boat will be examined as part of the investigation into why the serious incident occurred.
The (MCIB) conducts investigations into Marine casualties in Irish waters.
Eye witness Danny Ryan said he will be “forever haunted” by friends of the girl “screaming” for him to help them after their boat ran into difficulty in the river.
“I could see the boat turned over and a girl waving and screaming. My stomach is sick over it. It was scary,” Mr Ryan said.
I’m haunted all day. It’s the screams. I can still hear the girls screaming, ‘help, help, help’.
Mr Ryan, 49, from Thomondgate, said the current in the river at the time was “going very fast”.