Man loses fight for life after Shannon boating accident

by David Raleigh.

A man has lost his fight for life after being involved in a boating accident in the River Shannon in the early hours of this morning.

The man was rescued after the boat capsized near Castleconnell on the outskirts of Limerick city at around 4.30am today.

Three other men were treated for Hypothermia.

The small fibreglass boat being recovered at Castleconnell. Pictures: Press 22

Gardaí confirmed this afternoon that the 28-year-old man had died in hospital. The man, and the three others involved, were all from Castleconnell in Limerick.

They were suffering from Hypothermia when they were found. The three other men are said to be in a comfortable condition.

At 4.25am this morning, emergency services received a call from one of the four men after they had got into difficulty on the river at the "World's End", Castleconnell.

The river has been in flood in the town since before last Christmas following the recent winter storms.

When responding emergency crews arrived they found the boat wrapped around a tree in the middle of the raging swell.

Some of the men were clinging to the boat while others were stuck on debris along the tree line.

It's understood two of the men had been trapped underneath the boat when it initially capsized and crashed into the tree.

A crane lifted the boat out of the river at lunchtime today.

It has been taken away to be examined as part of a Garda investigation into the incident.

The scene of the tragedy today.

Members of Castleconnell Boat Club confirmed that one of their aluminium Safety Launch boats was taken from the clubhouse overnight.

The clubhouse has remained closed since before last December after it was overwhelmed by floodwaters in the winter storms.

"We haven't been on the water at all. It's remarkably dangerous, incredibly dangerous at the moment," said the club's PRO Emily Ross.

She said the men would have "been in trouble within seconds", given the strength of the current.

"All we can do is offer our best wishes to the men and their families," she added.

The club's president, Francis Moloney, praised those who took part in the rescue, which lasted for around three hours because of the dangerous conditions faced by the emergency responders.

"The dangers of water cannot be over emphasised and we commend the bravery and the professionalism of the Coast Guard, and the Emergency Services," Mr Moloney added.

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