A woman had a lucky escape yesterday after her car plunged into the sea from Cappagh Pier.
The young woman was helped from the car by two swimmers before she became trapped and the vehicle sank to the bottom. The incident happened in front of shocked onlookers who called the emergency services.
The alarm was raised at around 2:45pm when the Irish Coast Guard received a report of a car having entered the water at Cappagh Pier near Kilrush. The incident happened just 100 metres from the local RNLI lifeboat station.
Gardaí raced to the scene while the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue coordination centre at Valentia in Kerry mounted a search and rescue operation.
The Kilkee unit of the Coast Guard and Kilrush RNLI lifeboat were alerted and quickly responded to the incident. The same volunteer units had been involved in the all-night search for the tragic oyster fisherman just a few kilometres away.
The woman was recovered from the water and helped ashore. She was said to have been badly shaken by the incident and unable to offer much information to emergency crews about what happened.
A dive team from Kilkee was requested to carry out a search of the vehicle to ensure there were no other occupants.
Divers had difficulty locating the car which is believed to have floated some distance with the current.
The RNLI lifeboat was launched again to operate as a safety boat and provide additional resources for the dive team.
An RNLI spokesman said: “Kilrush lifeboat was on scene within minutes. On arrival, members of the Gardaí were present and the casualty had exited the vehicle with assistance from members of the public.
The casualty was suffering from shock and was transferred by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick (UHL).”
A dredge boat is expected to recover the car from the water early today.