Teenager drowns while swimming off Donegal’s Arranmore Island

In Dublin, Howth RNLI called out to assist paddle boarders and kayakers in difficulty

Arranmore Island: The island’s lifeboat was launched at about 2.50pm after the alarm was raised. File photograph: The Irish Times

Arranmore Island: The island’s lifeboat was launched at about 2.50pm after the alarm was raised. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

A young man has drowned while swimming off the coast of Arranmore Island in Co Donegal. The 18-year-old was with a friend when he got into difficulty.

It is understood the incident happened after 2pm.

The Arranmore lifeboat was launched at about 2.50pm after the alarm was raised.

However, the teenager’s body was removed form the water a short time later.

It is understood the young man was a sixth-year Leaving Cert pupil at the local secondary school.

Gardaí said local emergency services responded to an incident this afternoon on the island.

“A man, aged in his late teens, was removed from water after he had gotten into difficulty. He received treatment from medics at the scene, but was later pronounced dead. The body . . . will be taken to Letterkenny University Hospital where a postmortem will take place at a later date.”

A local on Arranmore said people were numb with the news .

“People are just shocked. The news swept the island in a matter of minutes.”

Separately, the RNLI has warned the public to check weather conditions and tides before going out into the water as conditions can “change quickly”. The warning follows two incidents involving paddle boarders and kayakers in difficulty off the east coast on Sunday.

Lorcan Dignam, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm, called on those enjoying the water to be prepared before setting off. “You should always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach,” he said.

“Although the weather has been quite mild recently, sea temperatures are very cold at this time of year and people taking to the water should be dressed for the conditions and always wear a life jacket.”

Mr Dignam was speaking after the unit’s first callout of the year.

Walkers on the pier at Howth: the RNLI has warned the public to check weather conditions and tides as conditions can ‘change quickly’. File photograph: The Irish Times
Walkers on the pier at Howth: the RNLI has warned the public to check weather conditions and tides as conditions can ‘change quickly’. File photograph: The Irish Times

The in-shore lifeboat was launched at 2.05pm on Sunday and made its way towards Portmarnock Beach, where weather conditions were poor with strong winds and 1m-high seas. There were paddle boarders in difficulty off the coast. Once at Portmarnock, the lifeboat crew located the paddle boarders who had made their way ashore.

Howth Harbour

Immediately after that, they were tasked with rescuing five kayakers who could not make it back to Howth Harbour due to the strong off-shore winds.

The volunteer lifeboat crew located three of them on Ireland’s Eye, just north of Howth Harbour.

“Thankfully the outcome, our first launch of 2022, was a successful one with the paddle boarders and kayakers all returned safely to shore,” said Mr Dignam.