Coastguard rescues woman who crashed into Achill river

Driver escapes unscathed after car submerged in Co Mayo

Achill Island, Co Mayo

Achill Island, Co Mayo


A driver had a lucky escape yesterday when she was rescued from a car which crashed into a river on Achill Island.

Shortly before noon yesterday Achilll Island coastguard received a call alerting them to vehicle which had come off the road near Keel Lake.

Members of Achill Island coastguard, some of who live close to the crash scence, came to the woman’s rescue within minutes of her car coming off the road.

When they reached the scene of the crash, the vehicle was already fully submerged and was filling with water.

It was perched on a steep underwater ledge above a 25m drop leading to fears that the car might be carried over the ledge with the current, rolling and trapping the occupant.

Having undertaken a risk assessment the team entered the water in gale force conditions combined with sleet and snow showers.

They rescued the woman from the vehicle and gave her first aid. She received further treatment from a local GP but is said to have escaped without any injury other than suffering from cold and shock.

The incident occurred less than 12 hours after 38-year-old Shane Donnelly, a former town clerk in Navan, Co Meath, died after the car in which he was travelling went out of control and plunged into a lake in Co Roscommon.

The incident occurred just after midnight yesterday when the car entered the water at Grange near Strokestown. The female driver managed to escape. Efforts by passersby to revive Mr Donnelly were not successful.

So far this year 182 fatalities have occurred on Irish roads compared with 162 in the full year in 2012 and 186 in 2011.