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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Child rescued by helicopter after airbed drifts 1km from shore in the Shannon Estuary

It’s not thought the young girl’s condition is serious.

The girl had been at the beach with family at Littor.
The girl had been at the beach with family at Littor.
Image: Google Maps

A YOUNG CHILD has been airlifted to hospital after being rescued from a airbed that had drifted into the Shannon Estuary this afternoon.

It’s understood that the girl had been enjoying a visit with her family to a beach near Littor in north Kerry when the the incident occurred. It’s believed the airbed on which the girl had been playing drifted away from the shore.

Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry received a report of a child adrift on a airbed close to Littor Beach on the southern shore of the estuary and drifting towards the mouth of the waterway.

The Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to the incident after the alarm was raised at around 2.45pm.

Rescue 115 had just taken off from Shannon Airport for a training exercise when the crew was diverted to the incident.

The helicopter reached the scene less than 10 minutes later and quickly located the child.

It’s understood however that the airbed had drifted over a kilometre offshore from Littor Beach before the helicopter arrived at the scene.

The Kilrush RNLI lifeboat, based in Co Clare on the other side of the estuary, was also requested to respond to the scene.

Rescue 115’s winchman/paramedic was lowered from the aircraft into the water and remained with the girl until the lifeboat arrived. The youngster was then taken on board the lifeboat while the helicopter repositioned and landed at a beach near Beale.

The volunteer lifeboat crew brought the girl ashore and handed her over to the helicopter crew.

The child was later airlifted, accompanied by family members, to University Hospital Kerry in Tralee for further treatment. It’s not thought the child’s condition is serious.

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