A young girl has been airlifted to hospital after she got into difficulty while swimming in the sea off Co Clare this afternoon.
A major search and rescue operation was mounted after a swimmer was reported to be in trouble off Doughmore Beach near Doonbeg.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry received an emergency call at around 5.00pm reporting the incident and quickly mounted a search and rescue operation.
The Kilkee and Doolin units of the Irish Coast Guard; National Ambulance Service (NAS); Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat and the Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter were all mobilised.
The crew of a local vessel that was in the vicinity at the time also diverted to the location after hearing a Coast Guard radio message requesting any vessels in the area to assist and report back.
A person on the shore also relayed information to the Irish Coast Guard station in Valentia from where staff passed it onto the boat crew. The vessel was however unable to reach the casualty but remained off shore in case the girl drifted further out to sea.
A man with a body board also went to the girl’s assistance and helped her ashore where they were met by National Ambulance Service paramedics. Rescue 115 arrived at the scene and was requested to remain in the area in case they might be further required.
Once it was confirmed that the girl and her rescuer were safely ashore, the RNLI and Coast Guard crews were stood down.
The girl was assessed on the shore by NAS paramedics who expressed concern that she might require further treatment. The helicopter crew later airlifted the casualty to University Hospital Limerick for treatment however her condition is not believed to be serious.
Doughmore, located close to Trump International Hotel, is known locally as an unsafe area for swimming and signs also warn against swimming there.
Earlier, the crew of Rescue 115 was requested to assist Gardaí, Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service, National Ambulance Service and Limerick Search and Rescue Service in Limerick City.
A person was reported to be in difficulty in the area of Shannon Bridge but was helped to safety.