A 'disgrace': Bogus alert stretches Limerick rescue resources thin

By David Raleigh

The PRO of Limerick Marine Search and Rescue has slammed the actions of a person who allegedly phoned in a bogus alert that, a woman had jumped into the River Shannon earlier tonight.

Emergency workers attached to the search and marine service, gardaí, Limerick fire service, and the Coast Guard rescue helicopter, were dispatched to the bogus alert.

It's believed the false call was telephoned into the emergency services by a male at approximately 7.05pm.

Peter Hogan, PRO with Limerick Marine Search and Rescue -- who is also a trained underwater rescue diver -- described it as a "disgrace".

He said: "We mobilised about 16 of our crew to the scene. We had a crew on a boat on the water and we had a 'back up' crew on the riverbank. We are currently searching for two other missing students and our resources are stretched."

"This is all we needed. It's a disgrace," Mr Hogan added.

"It's a complete waste of our resources and the rescue helicopter was also brought in, and all that costs a lot of money," he explained.

Specially trained Swift Water Technicians (SRTs) from Limerick Fire Service were also dispatched to the scene.

Search crews believed they were searching for a young woman who had jumped from Sarsfield Bridge into the River Shannon.

Meanwhile, concerns are growing for the safety of the two young men, who have not been seen for several days.

Tullamore native Mark Casey (19) was last seen leaving Angel Lane nightclub at Robert Street at around 1.30am on Friday.

Mark, who is a student at NUIG, is described as being 5’7” in height, of normal complexion with brown hair and hazel eyes. When last seen he was wearing grey Chino pants, a dark coloured T-shirt with a grey collar.

Gardai say while searches were conducted around the UL Campus yesterday, the focus of the searches has now returned to the city centre and the Cornmarket area in particular.

Friends of the teenager have travelled to Limerick from Offaly and Galway to help with the searches, which resumed this morning.

Separately, searches are continuing on the Limerick / Clare border for Limerick Institute of Technology student Steven Cavanagh (21).

Mr Cavanagh, from Clonlara, has not been seen since around 2.30am on Thursday.

He is described as being five foot ten inches tall with tight, brown hair and a slight build.

When last seen he was wearing blue jeans a blue Limerick FC jacket and black runners.

Anybody with information on the whereabouts of either student should contact Henry Street garda station at (061) 212400.

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