Community devastated

The close-knit community of Elphin has been devastated by the death of a 19-year-old man has drowned in a swimming accident last week.

The close-knit community of Elphin has been devastated by the death of a 19-year-old man has drowned in a swimming accident last week.

Daniel Harding, Hazelwood Park, was out swimming with friends at Drinaun Lake between Strokestown and Elphin when he got into difficulty at around 8pm on Thursday, July 11.

Gardaí and emergency services were called to the scene and a search of the lake was carried out with the assistance of the local sub aqua unit, local anglers and the Shannon rescue helicopter.

Mr Harding’s body was found at around midnight and brought to Roscommon Hospital.

RNLI callouts

The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat also responded to two callouts in one mission on Saturday, July 13.

Just after 9.50pm the crew were tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard to a kayaker reported to be in difficulty off St John’s Point. In a matter of minutes the lifeboat was launched and approached the kayaker. Pulling up alongside him the crew discovered the gentleman having a leisurely evening fishing and that there were no problems.

As they were en-route back to Bundoran and darkness was beginning to fall, a mayday call was heard over an emergency channel. Around the same time, the lifeboat crew spotted what they thought was a white emergency flare in the direction of Mullaghmore Head and advised the Coast Guard who then tasked them to the scene to check it out.

Arriving on the scene approximately 20 minutes later the crew found no sign of anybody in trouble – a member of the shore crew checked the area on land. The crew were directed to remain on scene until the Rescue 118 Search & Rescue helicopter from Sligo conducted an aerial search after which they were stood down and returned to station around 11.20pm.

Volunteer RNLI lifeboat helm for Bundoran Iarla Carty said “fortunately the services of the lifeboat were not required on these two occasions however we always advise people to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if they think they see someone in trouble at sea. We would always rather launch and check things out to make sure everything is ok – we are mindful in these good weather conditions that more and more people will be using the water and following the news of all the tragedies during the week we would encourage water users to be extra vigilant but to enjoy themselves at the same time.”