Man dies after being taken from water at Tramore in seventh drowning this week

Coastguard reports significant increase in number of callouts this year

The death of a man in 60s at Tramore in Co Waterford on Sunday brought to seven the number of swimming-related fatalities in Ireland in the past week.

Gardaí and emergency services were called to the beach at Tramore on Sunday evening at about 5.30pm

The man was recovered from the water and taken to Waterford Regional Hospital but was later pronounced dead. A postmortem is expected to take place.

In another water-related incident a man was taken from the water in a serious condition at Hollywood Lake, near Scotstown in Co Monaghan. He was taken by ambulance by the Air Corps air ambulance during which a paramedic provided medical aid.


The Garda said no further information was available on Sunday night. Inquiries are ongoing.

The two incidents are the latest water-related difficulties which happened as the United Nations designated Sunday as the first World Drowning Prevention Day.

Irish Water Safety said an average of 115 people die every year in Irish waters, with many people overestimating their abilities and underestimating the dangers.

On Friday the Garda 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 postmortem.”

Among the other five fatalities in the past 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 funeral will take place on Monday. An online book of condolences has been opened for him.

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 said 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.

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.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist