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Man who dived into Lough Erne in bid to save tragic drowning victim released from hospital

By Angela Rainey

A man who tried to save the life of a woman who fell overboard from a boat in Co Fermanagh has been released from hospital.

It is understood that the man and woman both entered the water at the Round 'O' Jetty in Enniskillen in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The man is reported to have jumped into Lough Erne after the 49-year-old woman fell in just after 3am.

Rodney McCrea, who witnessed the incident, described the shocking scenes to the BBC.

"It was about a quarter past three in the middle of the night and my wife and I heard a very high-pitched squealing sound," he said.

"We were looking out of the boat and we saw lots of people coming and going, then we saw one person being stretchered away.

"We have been boating for about 15 years now and I have been aware of a fair share of incidents.

"I have pulled three or four people from the water.

"It just reinforces to us the fact we are so hyper about safety on the boat and our children."

A member of the public raised the alarm.

By the time police and ambulance arrived at the scene the man had made it to land but the woman was unaccounted for.

She was later recovered from the water and efforts were made to save her life, but she died in hospital.

The man was also taken to the South West Acute Hospital for treatment, and by last night had been discharged.

The Round 'O' is a popular lough-side visitor spot and the marina was packed with boats over the bank holiday weekend.

The PSNI said police and other emergency services attended the scene.

Inspector Keith Hicks said: "On arrival the male was already out of the water. A search operation was implemented and a woman was taken from the water.

"Unfortunately she died a short time later in hospital.

"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 operation."

SDLP councillor John Coyle said the community was in shock.

"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the woman who died," he said.

"There is great shock among everyone, tourists and locals alike.

"It's such a shock to lose a life during this holiday season."

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said: "It is very sad that something like this should happen on what should be a fun time for families over the bank holiday weekend.

"I also commend the member of the public who raised the alert and the emergency services who reacted so swiftly to try to save lives during this incident.

"The area is very popular with tourists who moor their boats, come to stay for the local nightlife and enjoy local cuisine. It's very sad that something like this has happened.

"I appeal to everyone, whether they are boating or travelling on our roads, to be always mindful of how simple accidents can happen."

by angela rainey

Belfast Telegraph

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