Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Divers recover body of boy from Cork river

The body of a 15-year-old boy who got into difficulty while swimming with friends in the River Lee in Cork city has been recovered.

The boy, whose name has not yet been released, was swimming at the Shaky Bridge in Fitzgerald's Park, a popular summer swimming spot for local youths shortly after 8pm last night when he and a female teenager got into difficulty.



The 14-year-old girl managed to swim to shore where she was pulled to safety by a Garda who was on motorcycle patrol in the area when the alarm was raised.



She was not seriously injured but was in a very distressed state.



Another garda, who was an experienced swimmer, searched the river for the missing boy but found nothing. Two units of Cork City Fire Brigade attended the scene last night and an Irish coastguard helicopter using heat-seeking equipment searched the river.



Navy divers and the coastguard launched a search of the River Lee and spent several hours combing the area while dozens of people gathered on the shore.



Finally, minutes after midnight, a team of divers equipped with search lights found the boy's body in the water.



The body of the youth, who is from the Bridevalley View area of Fairhill in Cork city, was taken to Cork University Hospital.



Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster will carry out a post-mortem on the body there today. This is the second drowning incident in Cork in less than two months.



On May 24, Nicole O'Brien Kelly (13) drowned while on a trip to Inchydoney Strand in West Cork.



She had been trying to help her sister from the water.



Irish Water Safety says that an average of 160 people drown in Ireland every year.



The CEO of Irish Water Safety, John Leech, has stressed the importance of vigilance and caution to avoid drowning tragedies this summer.



In sympathising with families who have suffered the loss of a loved one this year, Mr Leech is pleading with people not to swim alone or after eating.



Members of the public are also asked not to stay in the water too long and to avoid the use of inflatable toys.

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