Lake tragedy as father of three loses life

A father of three tragically lost his life last weekend in a kayaking accident on Lough Ree.

Experienced water enthusiast, Eamonn O’Donohue, a resident of Kiltoom in Athlone and formerly of Palmerstown in Dublin, got into difficulty last Saturday while paddling his regular route between Lecarrow and Hodson Bay.

The alarm was raised by Mr O’Donohue’s family shortly before 12 noon when he did not reach his intended destination on time.

Lough Ree RNLI launched within minutes and shortly before 1pm the Coast Guard helicopter was deployed. The weather at the time was windy and very cold, with persistent rain making visibility poor.

At around 1.40pm, the Coast Guard sighted an object in the water near the eastern shore at Fat Head. The lifeboat crew recovered Mr O’Donohue from the water. He was unconscious but still had a pulse.

Oxygen and CPR were administered by the crew and lifesaving efforts continued throughout the journey back to Coosan Point, where Mr O’Donohue was transferred into the care of ambulance paramedics and taken to Portiuncula Hospital. He was pronounced dead later on Saturday evening after efforts to revive him failed.

Gardaí are launching an investigation into the incident.

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