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Image / Editorial

Public urged to be vigilant near water after 14-year-old girl tragically drowns in Louth


by Jennifer McShane
29th Jun 2019
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There was a swimming tragedy in Louth yesterday, after a young girl drowned while out on a beach with friends.

A 14-year-old girl was swimming with friends at Seapoint, near Termonfeckin, when the alarm was raised, according to reports.

She has been named locally as Jill Amante from Drogheda.

Gardaí were called to the at around 3pm on Friday and have confirmed she was airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter to Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in a serious condition but sadly, has since died.

“Devastating”

Jill was a second-year student at Ballymakenny College.

In a statement released today, the principal Alan Mynes said that the news of Jill’s passing was “devastating.”

“This is a terrible tragedy for the family, our school and our community,” Mr Mynes said.

“We are deeply saddened by this devastating news. Jill was a bright, funny and popular student. She made a tremendous contribution to Ballymakenny College life in her short time.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the family, our school and our community,” he continued. “We are deeply saddened by this devastating news.”

“Be especially vigilant”

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring urged the public to be vigilant over the weekend as incidences of drowning tend to increase during warm weather.

“I urge people to be especially vigilant over the weekend as we enjoy good weather… our waters are a wonderful resource but, on average, 127 people lose their lives on them every year, he said.”

He also said people should take basic precautions, such as staying in their depth, ensuring children were supervised and swimming in places where lifeguards were on duty. Also stay in safe swimming areas where equipment such as life bouys were present.

Staying safe in the water

The RNLI has had a water safety ‘cold shock’ campaign ongoing which offers advice to the public, should they enter cold water – anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement, so the risk is significant most of the year – unexpectedly:

  • Take a minute. The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don’t try to swim straight away.
  • Relax and float on your back to catch your breath. Try to get hold of something that will help you float.
  • Keep calm then call for help or swim for safety if you’re able.

Before you plan on enjoying the water:

  • Check conditions – including water temperature – before heading to the coast. Visit magicseaweed.com for full surf reports in the UK and Ireland.
  • Wear a wetsuit of appropriate thickness for the amount of time you plan to spend in the water and the type of activity you’re doing, if entering.
  • Wear a flotation device. It greatly increases your chances of making it through the initial shock.

Main photograph: Unsplash

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