Teenager hurt swimming in Clare
A 17-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after he was seriously injured while diving into the sea from a pier in Kilkee, Co Clare earlier today.
The teenager, understood to be from Limerick, had been swimming in the resort town when he dived from the pier into shallow waters.
The alarm was raised at around 12.30pm and a major multi-agency recovery operation was mounted by the Irish Coast Guard rescue coordination centre at Valentia Island in Kerry.
The local unit of the Irish Coast Guard and Kilkee Marine Rescue Service were requested to respond while an ambulance, rapid response paramedic and doctor were also sent to the scene.
The Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter was tasked to assist with the operation amid concerns that the swimmer had sustained head, neck and back injuries. A landing site for the chopper was prepared at the local golf club as the local seaside car park was full.
Rescuers waded into the water and recovered the teenager. He was carefully lifted from the water onto the pier where first-aiders immobilised him and treated a serious head wound.
On arrival at the scene, paramedics assessed and treated the casualty until the rescue helicopter arrived. He was then taken by road to the local golf club from where he was airlifted to University Hospital Galway for treatment.
Kilkee Marine Rescue Service chairman Mr Manuel Di Lucia said the lack of a dedicated helicopter landing site in Kilkee closer to the rescue centre and pier is cause for concern. “
It’s not usually an issue in the winter but when it’s busy like it was today, the chopper has to land some distance away in the golf club and a casualty taken all the way up there. It’s something I think the authorities need to consider,” he said.