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12 People Rescued Near Killaloe Bridge

Twelve people were rescued from the River Shannon on the Tipperary Clare border, near Killaloe Bridge late night. Two of these were plucked from the freezing waters having jumped from an overladen vessel on which they were partying and which had begun to take on water.

It is understood that 12 adults, all men in their 20’s, who had been attending a house party near the shoreline, decided to go boating in a 22 foot long speedboat.

Killaloe Bridge

A tragedy was only narrowly averted by the quick response of the emergency services, who managed to reach the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised.

The vessel was almost 3 kms south of the bridge and about 500 metres from the shore, in the darkness, when it began to take on water. Two of the occupants are understood to have jumped into the freezing water to attempt to swim ashore.

Rescuers found an amount of alcohol cans and bottles, in the area around the boat and most of those on board are understood to have been wearing inadequately fitting life jackets, for the intended voyage.

Killaloe Coast Guard spokesman Mr. Michael Quigley said: “So much could have gone wrong on Friday night and there is no doubt twelve lives could so easily have been lost.”

He also warned that  when people gets into trouble, they should only ring 999 or 112 and not a member of the public or individual Coast Guard members. This only wastes time and can put lives further at risk.

Killaloe and Ballina is an area much sought out by tourists visiting the Clare and Tipperary region.

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