Schoolboy, 14, dies after he got into difficulty swimming with pals in Passage West, Cork | The Sun

A SCHOOLBOY has died after going swimming with pals in Co Cork.

The incident happened in Passage West, in Cork Harbour, earlier this afternoon.

A group of young people were enjoying a swim off the boat pontoon in Passage West this afternoon.

It’s understood as they were jumping in off the man made mini-marina, one of the boys disappeared under the water.

His pals made frantic efforts to locate him and when unsuccessful, the emergency services were contacted.

Emergency services rushed to the scene after the alarm was raised at around 2pm.

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It's understood that a woman jumped into the water to help the youngsters find their friend.

No children were in the water at the time emergency services arrived.

It's understood the boy, around 14 years old, got into difficulty in the water.

The teenager was from the local area, it is believed.

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A search was conducted by Coast Guard's Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117, Crosshaven Coast Guard unit, Crosshaven RNLI, Gardaí, HSE paramedics and Cork Fire Brigade.

Divers searched the waters within a few hundred meters of the pontoon.

The coastguard and divers ribs scanned the water for any sign of movement while the Waterford based Rescue 117 searched the area from the air.

Local boat owners also joined in the search effort.

A number of young people and adults gathered in the area, all praying and hoping that the boy would be found.

They were visibly distressed and obviously upset, with some of them crying and hugging each other.

Nearby about 50 meters, young children played in the playgrounds unaware of the drama that was unfolding nearby.


The area is popular with youngsters for swimming during the summer months and is only a few hundred meters from Passage West rowing club facilities.

Children and teenagers enjoy swimming in the area when temperatures are high and while it is regarded safe, there was a tide flowing there around the time of the alert.

However, the area involved is understood to be dangerous due to strong tidal currents in Cork harbour.

The Coast Guard were notified of the incident shortly after 2pm and immediately contacted units from the local area including nearby Crosshaven RNLI. The rescue operation is being co-ordinated by the Valentia Coast Guard Centre.

A Garda spokesperson said: "The body will now be taken to Cork University Hospital where a post-mortem examination will be arranged.

"Garda enquiries are ongoing."

Local Councillor Marcia D'Alton, who was at the scene, said the incident was "a terrible, terrible tragedy".

She told Cork Beo: "People are in shock, it's such a lovely day today, there's a good few people out and about and this was a place that's very popular with young people.

"I was told that the boy who went missing was not really able to swim and he had been staying out of the water while his friends swam.

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"It's just a terrible, terrible accident, I know everybody around Passage will be thinking of his family, it's so awful for them."

Praising the extensive search, Cllr D'Alton said: "People had been hoping they would find him quickly, but he just went so fast away from his friends, he just went so far away from them so fast, they couldn't do anything."

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