Man (24) drowns while swimming off Donegal coast

Death brings to nine the number of people to die by drowning in current heatwave


A 24-year-old man has drowned in Donegal this afternoon after he got into difficulty while swimming in the sea near Ardara. He is the ninth person to die by drowning in the recent heatwave.

Emergency services were called to the area around 2pm. The man was pulled from the sea by a unit from the Malin Head Coast Guard and airlifted to Leterkenny General Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Irish Water Safety has made repeated appeals for awareness of the dangers of swimming in areas without lifeguards, especially in open water, and the difficulty of swimming in cold water following a series of deaths in rivers, lakes and at sea.

A woman in her 30s is in a serious but stable condition after being rescued from the River Nore near Kilkenny city this afternoon.

The 20-year-old man who drowned while swimming in a lake in Co Kerry yesterday has been named as Cian O’Donoghue, from Killarney.

The student had been swimming from Reen, near Ross Castle, to Heron Island with another young man. The alert was raised at 5.20 pm after Mr O’Donoghue got into difficulty near Reen point.

His body was recovered from Lough Leane after a search and rescue operation yesterday.

The lake - also known as the Lower Lake - is the largest of the three famous lakes of Killarney.

A spokesman for Valentia Coastguard explained that despite the absence of tidal hazards in fresh water, it is more dangerous than the sea for swimmers. “There is less buoyancy in rivers and lakes due to absence of salt in the water and it is also much colder,” he said.

“It is much more difficult than swimming in the sea. It’s frustrating there are so many young people gone in this fine weather - it’s a matter of educating people really - they don’t realise the danger,” he said. “I’ve been here the past 30 years and I haven’t heard of any drowning in those lakes.”