Search for man missing in Kildare kayaking incident in its third day

Declan Reid (34) ensured his son (8) was rescued before disappearing from view

Members of Kildare Civil Defence use sniffer dogs on a boat on the river Barrow on Tuesday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Members of Kildare Civil Defence use sniffer dogs on a boat on the river Barrow on Tuesday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

The search continued on Tuesday for a young father missing since he helped to save his child from drowning in the river Barrow in Co Kildare after their kayak overturned on Sunday afternoon.

The man, named locally as Declan Reid (34), and his eight-year-old son got into difficulty in the water close to Ardreigh Lock outside Athy .

It is understood their kayak overturned, after which Mr Reid was able to keep his son afloat until he was pulled out of the water by a passer-by.

By the time the passer-by made it back to the canal bank to help Mr Reid, he had disappeared from view.

The emergency services were immediately called and the child was treated at the scene by paramedics as a large crowd gathered.

A search for the missing man got under way immediately. The search – involving the Garda Water Unit, local gardaí, the Civil Defence and local volunteers – continued throughout Monday’s daylight hours and entered its third day from first light on Tuesday.

Civil Defence members search the river Barrow near Ardreigh Lock, outside Athy, Co Kildare. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
Civil Defence members search the river Barrow near Ardreigh Lock, outside Athy, Co Kildare. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

About a dozen kayaks and four boats have been involved in the search as have local divers.

Fianna Fáil councillor Veralouise Behan described it as “a very tragic accident on a beautifully sunny day”. She said the waterways in the area were “very inviting but the river is particularly high at the moment”.

Labour Party councillor Aoife Breslin described it as a “horrific time” for the family and said the people of the town were sending their “support and sympathy and if there’s anything the town can do to try and lessen the heartache, they certainly will”.

Ardreigh Lock is a well-known beauty spot popular with walkers and families and was particularly busy on Sunday during the fine weather.