Two die in Cork drowning incidents

Monday 10 June 2013 22.55
Irish Water Safety has warned people of the dangers of swimming in rivers after the separate tragedies
Irish Water Safety has warned people of the dangers of swimming in rivers after the separate tragedies

Two people have died after separate drowning incidents in Co Cork.

A 17-year-old youth who got into difficulties while swimming in north Cork died in hospital.

He had been swimming in the river Blackwater with a group of friends at a local bathing area known as Lisheen Bridge.

The boy was airlifted to Kerry General Hospital in Tralee.

He has been named locally as Chris O'Sullivan of Gleann Rua, Rathmore in Co Kerry.

Elsewhere, a 21-year-old man drowned while swimming with friends in the river Lee near Ballincollig, Co Cork.

Gardaí were called to the scene at Inniscarra.

The man's body was recovered and was brought to Cork University Hospital.

He has been named as Michael O'Driscoll. He was originally from Model Farm Road in Cork city.

Five people were arrested in relation to disturbances at the scene.

Elsewhere, Irish Water Safety Chief Executive John Leech has said that swimming in inland waterways is much more dangerous than elsewhere, and appealed to the public to avoid them.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr Leech said that 62% of all drownings occur in inland waterways, and more than a third of those happen in rivers.

Mr Leech said fresh water can be more lethal than saltwater because of the osmosis it causes in lungs.

He said people can come away from an accident in fresh water and die several hours later.

He also said cold shock can be a factor when bodies are hot and the water is very cold.

He said people should swim in rivers with lifeguarded areas and avoid remote areas where there is no public rescue equipment and poor access for emergency services.

He also said that if people do intend to swim in these areas, they should have a trained lifesaver in their group.