Belfast Telegraph

'Heartbreaking tragedy' as teen girl dies after falling into Larne river

Emergency services at the scene of the incident at the Inver River. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Emergency services at the scene of the incident at the Inver River. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

The death of a teenage girl after entering the Inver River in Larne on Tuesday night has been described as an "unimaginable loss".

The 14-year-old died after falling into the river at around 9pm.

A huge rescue mission was launched involving police local coastguard crews and the ambulance service.

It's understood the girl was removed from the water and taken to Antrim Area Hospital where she passed away.

Police confirmed a post mortem has taken place and the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Mayor Maureen Morrow said she understood the teenager had slipped while out walking with friends.

She said despite efforts of friends and the emergency services to save the girl the river had been flowing quickly due to heavy rainfall on Tuesday and she had been swept away.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of the young girl who died in a tragic incident in Larne last night," the UUP councillor said.

“To lose a young person at any time is truly unimaginable but for this to happen in the run-up to the Christmas period is especially heartbreaking and I wish to extend the sympathies of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to this young girl’s family and all those who mourn her loss."

Sinn Fein Westminster candidate in East Antrim Oliver McMullan said that the girl's death had been a "tragic accident" and offered his deepest condolences.

The scene at the Inver River on Tuesday night. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
The scene at the Inver River on Tuesday night. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

"This is an absolute tragedy, the thoughts of the entire community will be with the girl's family after this terrible incident" the former MLA said.

Mrs Morrow paid tribute to the work of the emergency services.

“I am also mindful of all those from the emergency services and the volunteers from the Community Rescue Service who attended the scene last night and hope that they, and anyone else affected by this tragic incident, can receive the support they need in the days, weeks and months ahead,” she said.

"Very sorry to learn of this sad news," East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the the young girl's friends and family at this time."

"Very sad news in Larne this morning," local Alliance councillor Danny Donnelly said.

"My thoughts are with the family of this girl."

A spokesperson for the ambulance service said it attended the scene in Larne at 9pm on Tuesday.

"We responded with a number of resources and one patient was taken to hospital in Antrim."

A coastguard spokesperson confirmed that they attended the incident.

"Coastguard crews from Larne and Portmuck assisted the police and two lifeboats were launched from Larne," the spokesperson said.

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