14-year-old boy dies after getting into difficulty swimming

14-year-old boy dies after getting into difficulty swimming

The man was wearing a personal flotation device which rescuers said “contributed to his survival.” 

A teenager has died after getting into difficulty while swimming in Co Monaghan at the weekend.

Emergency services attended the scene at Hollywood Lake, Scotstown on Sunday at around 4pm.

The 14-year-old boy was taken by air ambulance to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin where he passed away yesterday.

A file is being prepared for the Coroner.

This morning, the Irish Coastguard’s head of operations, Gerard O’Flynn issued an appeal to people not to take inflatable toys into open water after a man was rescued after 10 hours in the water off County Louth.

The man, aged in his late 40s, had gone out on the water at Whitestown Beach, Dundalk at around midday.

Gardaí alerted the RNLI at around 9.45pm when a full search and rescue mission was launched.

Several groups were involved in the rescue, including the marine rescue coordination centre in Dublin, Kilkee lifeboat, rescue helicopter 116, a local pilot boat - the Mourne Mist.

A kayaker was the first to reach the man who was separated from his inflatable.

The man was wearing a personal flotation device which Mr O'Flynn said “contributed to his survival.” 

“He had a narrow escape."

The tides at the mouth of Carlingford Lough can be quite strong, he added. 

The man was in a “small inflatable dinghy of some description”.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr O’Flynn described inflatable toys as “back garden toys” and said “that’s as far as they should go.” 

It was an inflatable toy which should not be used in open water at sea, on a lake or on a river.

Huge numbers of people will be heading on staycations this weekend while others may be enjoying waters closer to home but every person should be attentive to their personal safety.
Huge numbers of people will be heading on staycations this weekend while others may be enjoying waters closer to home but every person should be attentive to their personal safety.

As we head towards the August bank holiday weekend, people are being urged to take basic safety measures and to be extremely careful when doing any water-based activities.

Huge numbers of people will be heading on staycations this weekend while others may be enjoying waters closer to home but every person should be attentive to their personal safety.

Last week, there were a total of seven drownings in Ireland, the majority of which were on inland waterways.

Minister of State in the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said the tragedies are a stark reminder to all as to how quickly serious accidents can happen.

“Remember, Water Will Win if we do not observe basic water safety measures," said Ms Naughton.

Three key safety areas according to the Marine Safety Communications group are:

  • Inflatable toys should never be used on the beach or inland waterways 
  • Swimmers should always ensure that they are accompanied or that their activity is being monitored by a colleague ashore. Open water swimmers/longer distance swimmers should wear a high visibility swim cap and use a Tow Float to ensure that they are visible at all times. Only swim in lifeguarded beaches or on beaches that are in regular use, be alert to local safety warnings and always ensure that somebody is aware of your planned return time.
  • Users of Jet Skis are asked to be mindful of swimmers by avoiding swimming areas and by observing local bye laws.

Those planning to head out in the water should check weather forecasts, tide times and local conditions. It is also important to be aware of the risk posed by local currents and, in particular, rip currents.

Rip currents most typically form at low spots or breaks in sandbars, and near structures such as jetties, piers and the speeds under certain tide and beach profiles can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the water.

The Coast Guard has seen a huge surge in the number of calls for assistance and has responded to 1,763 incidents so far this year. It marks an increase of 400 for the same period last year and 150 more than any year over the last five.

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