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Lough Erne tragedy: Mum fell into water after checking if boat was secured to jetty

  • Husband jumped into water after hearing splash in rescue bid
  • Family of four from Donegal hired boat for Easter holiday

By Jonny Bell

The husband of a woman who died in Lough Erne tried desperately to find his wife in the water while their two young children slept on board their holiday boat.

The incident happened at Devenish Island, near Enniskillen, at around 1.20am on Thursday. The mum of two had gone out to check the ropes to make sure the boat was secured to the jetty before going to bed.

Her husband - alerted by the splash of his wife going in the water - dived in to try and rescue her. He could not find her in the dark and got out to raise the alarm.

Emergency services launched an extensive search and the body of the 30-year-old woman was found around 40 minutes later.

She was pulled from the water just metres from the back of the boat. CPR was performed at the dockside and on route to the hospital where she later died.

Police said the family of four, including two young children, a boy aged 13 and an 11-year-old girl, were in the boat at the time.

The children were asleep at the time of the tragedy. From Convoy in Co Donegal they had been holidaying in Lough Erne for Easter. The husband is being treated for shock.

Police said it was a "tragic accident".

Enniskillen RNLI said in a statement: "All involved at Enniskillen RNLI would like to pass on their condolences to the family and friends who are in our thoughts and prayers."

Sinn Fein Councillor Liam Doherty said there was shock in the town of Convoy. "My sympathies go to the family at this tragic time," he said.

MP for the area Tom Elliott said it was a tragedy, adding: "This is just deeply sad, again we have another family in bereavement and my thoughts and prayers go out to them and their community.

"It is a tragedy.

"Lough Erne is a dangerous place and it has taken many lives over the years and I would call on people to be careful on the water."

Sinn Fein MLA Jemma Dolan expressed her condolences.

"I'd like to commend the efforts of the emergency crews were came to the scene to provide assistance," she said.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of this young woman from Donegal at this difficult time."

Fermanagh and Omagh DUP Cllr Keith Elliott, added, "This is a devastating incident for the family and all connected with Lough Erne. I want to praise the RNLI and the emergency services for their brave actions at the scene.

"The pain of this tragic death will be felt right around the county and my thoughts and prayers go out to the young woman's family at this time."

PSNI Inspector Gavin Sterling said: "A full search operation was implemented and sadly a body was recovered from the water shortly before 3am this morning.

"An investigation into the circumstances is now under way and a post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out.

"Local police would extend their sympathies to the family and would offer thanks to all of the agencies involved in the overnight operation."

A post mortem is to be conducted later on Thursday.

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