A South-East Clare community is in mourning this week after a Broadford pensioner died suddenly at Lahinch beach on Sunday afternoon.
He has been named locally as Patrick O’Connell, Doon Road, Broadford.
The 72 year-old man was paddling in shallow water about six to eight inches deep when he collapsed suddenly and fell down with what is believed to a suspected heart attack shortly after 3 pm.The incident took place about 30 yards out from the shoreline at the north end of the Lahinch promenade.
According to Lahinch Search and Rescue secretary, Tomsie O’Sullivan two women and a man pulled the man in from the water on the beach where one of them, who was a qualified nurse proceeded to give Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
Mr O’Sullivan recalled he was contacted by the Valentia Coast Guard service to confirm that an incident had taken place that required assistance and he confirmed this with two lifeguards who were aware of what had happened and rushed to provide resuscitation.
The lifeguards also used a defibrillator in an effort to resuscitate the man before an ambulance and an advanced paramedic arrived on the scene.
Despite extensive efforts to resuscitate the man, he was pronounced dead at the scene by the advanced paramedic and a local general practitioner.
The Doolin Coastguard Unit, which was tasked to provide assistance at 3 pm and the air ambulance request for transport for rapid transfer to the nearest regional hospital was stood down at 3.15 pm.
Members of the Lahinch Search and Rescue service, who were collecting money on the promenade to support the continuation of a daylight back up service to the lifeguards on duty, helped to close off the car park temporarily to allow the rescue services gain access to the beach, at the request of the local traffic warden.
Mr O’Sullivan said that there was traffic congestion during a peak time in Lahinch as there was a constant flow of traffic to and from the car park.Gardaí also assisted in the regulation of traffic during the rescue operation.
The body of the desceased was removed to University Hospital Limerick where a postmortem examination was due to be carried out on Monday.
By Dan Danaher