Man (60s) dies at Dollymount strand bringing to six number of swimming-related deaths

It is believed the man may have suffered a cardiac arrest while in the water

 

The death of a man in 60s at Dollymount strand in north Dublin on Friday brought to six the number of swimming-related fatalities in Ireland this week.

The swimmer was recovered from the water at around 1.30pm, at which stage he was unconscious.

Emergency services and paramedics attempted to resuscitate him on the beach, but he was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

It is believed he may have suffered a cardiac arrest while in the water, although the exact cause of death will be established by a postmortem examination.

A Garda spokesman confirmed emergency services had attended the scene of an incident at Dollymount, Dublin 3.

“A male aged in his 60s was recovered from the water at approximately 1.30pm,” the spokesman said.

“His body has been removed to Dublin City Mortuary for post mortem.”

Last October, a man in his 30s died while kite-surfing off Dollymount beach, when he got into difficulty in the water during a charity event.

Among the other five fatalities this week was teenager Jay Moffett (13), who died after entering a lake in the Canal Court area of Scarva in Co Down.

His funeral took place on Friday afternoon.

His local church in Scarva village said friends and neighbours were “deeply saddened” by his death. It was a “tragic event to happen in such a beautiful village and everyone is feeling the shock of it all,” Rev Rodney Magennis said.

A statement from Scarva Primary School, which he attended, described him as a “lovely child who was a pleasure to have in school for both staff and pupils alike”.

On Tuesday afternoon, a 15-year-old boy died after getting into difficulty while swimming in Lough Sheelin, Co Cavan.

The boy was recovered from the water by emergency services and rushed to Temple Street Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Cavan mother

On Wednesday night, mother of two Natasha Core died after rescuing her son from a lake in Co Cavan.

Ms Core, who was in her late 20s, jumped into the water moments after seeing her nine-year-old son get into difficulty while out swimming in Loch Gowna. While her son came to safety, Ms Core herself then got into difficulties in a dangerous stretch of water.

Fermanagh

Also on Wednesday, Peter Jones (55) died in Co Fermanagh following an incident at the Lough Melvin area, close to the small village of Garrison. Mr Jones was a father of six.

SDLP councillor John Coyle expressed his condolences to those who knew him and said it had been “shocking” for the community.

“There’ve been a lot of fatalities from drowning across the whole island of Ireland recently so it’s just unbelievable. At a time of such lovely weather, yes, we need to get out and enjoy it, but tragedy can strike,” he said.

Cllr Coyle urged the public to be extra vigilant when going out swimming throughout the summer and to never go alone. “Life is precious and we need to be careful,” he said.

Sinn Féin MLA Jemma Dolan expressed her condolences and paid tribute to the emergency service workers who were involved in efforts to save him.

“My thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of the man who tragically lost his life,” she said.

Leitrim

In Co Leitrim, also on Wednesday, the body was recovered of a man in his 70s who was snorkelling at Spencer Harbour, Drunkeeran and failed to return to the surface.

The man has been named locally as Michael Hoey.

Mr Hoey’s body was recovered from the water by local emergency services and removed to the mortuary at Sligo University Hospital for a postmortem examination.

Sinn Féin councillor Colm Carthy said the community were struggling to come to terms with “the tragic news that a very well-respected man drowned, on what should have been a very happy occasion for him to take a holiday.”

He said: “My heart goes out to the family.”

Mr Hoey’s funeral will take place on Monday. His death notice said he was “sadly missed and remembered with love by his heartbroken family” including his wife Marie, his sons and daughters, and his grandchildren.

An online book of condolences has been opened for him.

Safety

As the first UN World Drowning Prevention Day approaches this Sunday, July 25th, the operations manager for the Irish Coast Guard, Gerard O’Flynn has issued a number of safety recommendations to the public before they access open-water areas.

Mr O’Flynn told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that the combination of “excellent” weather in recent days along with Covid restrictions on recreation activities had meant more people were taking to the water.

There had been a significant increase in the number of incidents to which the Coast Guard had been called this year, he said, rising from 1,340 at this time last year to 1,690 this year.

His recommendations were for people on jet skis to stay away from other people in the water, for those swimming in open water to never swim alone and always be observed, even from shore, to use a tow float and wear an easily identifiable swim cap, and “never, ever” use inflatable toys in open water.

Mr O’Flynn explained that a tow float was a small item that was attached to a swimmer’s foot, it was highly visible and could be easily observed.

The advice for anyone going into the water was to swim only in areas where there is a lifeguard or other groups of people; never swim alone and let people know when to expect your return.