A young child has been airlifted to hospital after being rescued from a lilo that had drifted into the Shannon Estuary this afternoon.
It’s understood that the girl had been enjoying a visit with her family to a beach near Littor in North Kerry when the incident occurred.
It’s believed the lilo on which the girl had been playing drifted away from the shore.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry received a report of a child adrift on a lilo close to Littor Beach on the southern shore of the estuary and drifting towards the mouth of the waterway.
The Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to the incident after the alarm was raised at around 2.45pm.
Rescue 115 had just taken off from Shannon Airport for a training exercise when the crew was diverted to the incident.
The helicopter reached the scene less than 10 minutes later and quickly located the child.
It’s understood however that the lilo had drifted over a kilometre offshore from Littor Beach before the helicopter arrived at the scene.
The Kilrush RNLI lifeboat, based in Co Clare on the other side of the estuary, was also requested to respond to the scene.
Rescue 115’s winchman/paramedic was lowered from the aircraft into the water and remained with the girl until the lifeboat arrived.
The youngster was then taken on board the lifeboat while the helicopter repositioned and landed at a beach near Beale.
The volunteer lifeboat crew brought the girl ashore and handed her over to the helicopter crew.
The child was later airlifted, accompanied by family members, to University Hospital Kerry in Tralee for further treatment.
It’s not thought the child’s condition is serious.
In a separate incident in Co Galway this afternoon, a 6-year-old child was rescued after drifting out to sea on a body board.
The incident happened at around 5pm at White Strand beach in Renvyle.
It’s understood that boy was on a body board when he was pushed out to sea by the wind and tide.
A local man attempted to swim out and help the boy but turned back because of the sea conditions.
The alarm was quickly raised and watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre at Malin Head in Donegal mounted a search and rescue operation.
The Cleggan unit of the Irish Coast Guard and Sligo based search and rescue helicopter (Rescue 118) were alerted and requested to respond to the incident.
Clifden RNLI's two lifeboats were also tasked to the incident but were stood down en route.
The child was picked up by the crew of a local boat about 1.5 kilometres off the coast and brought safely ashore.
Rescue 118 landed in a field beside the beach where the helicopter’s paramedic assessed the child.
Once it was confirmed that the child was unharmed and not in need of any further medical assistance the operation was stood down.