Water safety warning issued after teens rescued from River Lee

Ballincollig Regional Park file photo
By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

Another water safety warning has been issued after two girls were rescued after getting into difficulty while swimming in the River Lee.

The girls were among a large group of teens who had gathered in the Regional Park in Ballincollig, west of Cork city, on Saturday afternoon as temperatures soared.

Several went swimming close to the park’s weir but the alarm was raised when two of the girls got into difficulty.

Onlookers threw a lifebuoy into the water as a local teenage boy with lifesaving skills went into the water to help them.

Emergency services were also alerted but the girls were brought to safety.

Both were taken to hospital for observation. They are expected to make a full recovery.

The incident has prompted a water safety from Cork City Council, which manages the park, urging people not to swim in the river at this location.

A spokesman said ‘no swimming’ signs have been erected at this location for several years because the area can experience treacherous currents at any time.

It is particularly prone to fast-flows and dangerous currents if the ESB discharges water from its hydroelectric dam at Inniscarra a few kilometres upstream.

Locals familiar with the river said when such dam discharges occur, vast volumes of fast-flowing water can arrive at the weir area of the Regional Park minutes later without warning, catching people unaware.

There was another near miss on Wednesday when a teenage girl crossing the river got into difficulty.

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