18 Aug 2022

Midlands man dies in tragic accident at Derryounce Lakes in Portarlington

Derryounce walk Portarlinton

Derryounce Lakes

A man in his 60s has died following a tragic accident at a popular amenity in Portlarlington.

Gardaí have confirmed the death of the man at the Derryounce Lakes on the outskirts of the town at around 3.30pm on Saturday, July 16.

The man, who is originally from Portlaoise, is understood to have lost his life following what's described as a 'tragic accident'.

Gardaí, ambulances and fire services rushed to the scene and the man was removed to Portlaoise hospital. Despite the efforts of the emergency services, gardaí were unable to save the man's life

While drowning is suspected as being the main cause of death, a  post mortem will be carried out 

The lake is part of a amenity on the Offaly side of Portarlington, however swimming is not advised or permitted at the lake. Signs advising people not to swim and life saving devices are also available. There is no lifeguard presence.

It's understood that the amenity was busy today and the public continued to enter the water despite the presence of the emergency services.

Laois Gardaí urged the public not to swim in unsafe locations over the the weekend which is expected to be the hottest of the year so far in Ireland.

In advance of the warm weather spell across Ireland, Water Safety Ireland issued advice to help swimmers stay safe from drowning. It says an average of nine people drown every month nationwide and Water Safety Ireland is urging the public to be mindful of the following advice during the current spell of warm weather.

1. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
2. Swim between the red and yellow flags at a Lifeguarded waterway, listed at  otherwise swim in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ringbuoys present for rescues.
3. Avoid swimming in unfamiliar areas that are potentially unsafe. Ask for local knowledge to determine local hazards and safest areas to swim. Pay attention to any safety signage.
4. Make sure that the water’s edge is shallow shelving so that you can safely enter and exit.
5. The air temperature is warm but open water is cooler than air – avoid extended stays in the water as your muscles will cool, making swimming more difficult.
6. Never use inflatable toys in open water as a gentle breeze can quickly bring a person away from shore.
7. Always supervise children closely and never leave them alone near water.
8. Alcohol is a factor in one third of drownings. Do not mix it with water activities.
9. To escape a rip current, swim parallel to the shore and then swim back ashore. See
10. If you see somebody in trouble in the water: SHOUT – REACH – THROW
a. SHOUT to calm, encourage and orientate them;
b. REACH with anything that prevents you from entering the water (clothing/stick);
c. THROW a ringbuoy or any floating object to them.
11. When boating, always wear a correctly fitting lifejacket and have to hand a VHF radio and a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.

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