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Co Clare incident: Angler rescues baby after car rolls off Lough Derg pier

By Rebecca Lumley

A baby miraculously escaped unharmed from a car which rolled off a pier into a lake in Clare.

The six-month old was strapped into a baby seat when the parked car he was in began to roll backwards into Lough Derg.

The baby’s parents had momentarily left the vehicle when the incident occurred around 1.30pm last Saturday.

Picking up speed as it rolled down the pier, the car narrowly missed angler John Barry, who promptly came to the baby’s aid. Mr Barry quickly realised the gravity of the situation when the baby’s mother shouted that “there was a baby in the car.”

Mr Barry told the Clare Champion: “She was running towards the car at this stage. The woman and I both went to the car. It was taking on considerable water. The water was up to my waist and the car had gone past me; the water was well up to the seats of the car.”

“The baby and the car seat were taken from the car. There were shoes floating around and a few other bits and pieces and I took those out of the car and brought them up, as much as I could salvage, before it got too wet,” he said.

While the parents, who were visiting the area from Dublin, were distressed by the incident, the baby emerged entirely unscathed.

Mr Barry recounted: “The baby wasn’t in any way traumatised. The baby didn’t even get wet. I never saw such a happy baby in all my life. The baby was smiling in its mother’s arms, going up the pier.”

With the baby safe, Mr Barry assisted in towing the rapidly filling car from the water.

He said: “The mother was very distressed but, when the two of us calmed down, I told her I had a ratchet strap in the back of my van. I managed to hook it to the back of the car and I pulled the car up out of the water and back up onto the pier. It took a considerable pull but I got it up.”

Neither the couple nor the baby required medical attention following the incident.

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