Student in a critical condition after kayaking incident

Two members of UL club taken to hospital after getting into difficulty on river in Kerry

Two  students remain in hospital after they got into difficulty on a river in Co Kerry at the weekend. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Two students remain in hospital after they got into difficulty on a river in Co Kerry at the weekend. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A 20-year-old University of Limerick (UL) student is in a critical condition in hospital after she and a fellow student got into difficulty while kayaking on a river in Co Kerry on Saturday.

The alarm was raised shortly after 2.30pm on Saturday when other members of the group they were with discovered their kayaks upturned in rough waters in the Caragh river upstream of Caragh Lake.

The two were among about 20 students from UL Kayak Club who were on a weekend trip to Co Kerry. The second student is a 21-year-old male.

The two were rescued from the river some 2km upstream of Caragh Lake in an operation co-ordinated by personnel from a HSE National Ambulance Service centre.

Gardaí from Killorglin as well as members of Kerry County Fire Service and members of the Waterville-based Iveragh Coast Guard unit assisted in the rescue.

The woman, believed to be from Co Cork, was airlifted by the Irish Community Rapid Response helicopter to University Hospital Kerry in Tralee.

It’s understood that she is in a critical condition and family members from Cork have travelled to maintain a vigil by her bedside in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

‘Stable’ condition

The other kayaker was less seriously injured and he was transported by ambulance to the Kerry hospital, where his condition was described as “stable”.

It’s believed both kayakers became separated from their kayaks in the Caragh river, which was heavily swollen following several days of heavy rain.

It’s believed the woman may have become submerged under water when separated from her kayak, but it was unclear for how long she may have been underwater before being rescued.

Saturday’s incident is the second serious kayaking incident in Co Kerry inside the last 12 months.

Kayaker Brita Waters, a native of Baldoyle in Dublin who was based in Douglas in Cork, drowned after getting trapped under a log while kayaking with a group of friends on the Roughty river, upstream of Kilgarvan, on November 4th, 2018.