'Unbelievably tragic and cruel' – search for boy (5) who went missing on Lough Mask to resume at first light

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SEARCH teams were stood down for the night after desperately trying to locate a five-year-old boy who was reported missing at Lough Mask, in Co Mayo.

he search, which is due to resume at first light this morning, was being led by the Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky S-92 helicopter with the support of local gardaí, Civil Defence, Lough Mask Water Rescue and a local dive team.

The alarm was raised shortly before 6.30pm on the north western section of Lough Mask, close to Toormakeady.

The area is popular for fishing and recreational boating.

A garda spokesman confirmed the search operation.

“A search operation involving An Garda Síochána… is underway on Lough Mask near Toormakeady for a young boy who went missing while out on the water.”

It’s understood the child, the youngest of five siblings, entered the water after he had been playing with his siblings on a dinghy. A friend of the family told Independent.ie that the community is in “shock.”

He added: “I know the family very well, God help them, it’s a tragedy – what a terrible, terrible thing to happen.”

Local councillor Michael Burke said the community is devastated.

“It’s horrendous. I only heard about this late this evening and I am dumbfounded and shocked, as is everyone. It’s unbelievably tragic and cruel.”

It came after, in a separate incident, a young man was left fighting for his life after suffering critical injuries when he dived off a 17 metre (50ft) cliff in Cork and struck submerged rocks.

The 35-year-old is being treated for critical head and spinal injuries after the incident at Nohoval Cove, roughly 30km from Cork.

It is understood he was at the popular coastal spot with friends enjoying the sunshine.

The man, who is believed to be from nearby Carrigaline, apparently struck hidden rocks as he dived into the sea around 2pm on Sunday.

A member of the public raised the alarm and a major rescue operation was mounted.

The Coast Guard’s Shannon-based Rescue 115 Sikorsky helicopter was tasked to the scene while RNLI and Coast Guard units from Kinsale, Oysterhaven and Summercove also attended.

Kinsale RNLI volunteers helped bring the injured man ashore and he was then taken by helicopter to Cork University Hospital (CUH)Two ambulances attended the scene but a helicopter transfer was deemed faster given the serious nature of the injuries.

Online Editors

Source: Irish News