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Life jacket call after woman drowns in Co Fermanagh

The woman died after falling into Lough Erne
Connla Young

A Co Fermanagh councillor has called for the wearing of life jackets while on or near water to be made compulsory after a woman was drowned in Co Fermanagh.

The 49-year-old died after falling into Lough Erne at the Round O jetty in Enniskillen in the early hours of Saturday.

Police received reports that the woman had fallen overboard from a boat moored at the jetty at around 2.40am.

A man who also entered the water was later treated at the South West Acute Hospital in the town but was allowed to leave yesterday.

It is understood a member of the public raised the alarm and by the time police and ambulance arrived the man had made it to land but the woman remained in the water.

After being recovered attempts were made to resuscitate her, however, she later died in hospital.

The Round O is a popular berthing spot in the town and is understood to have been busy over the bank holiday weekend with tourists flocking to the area.

SDLP Councillor John Coyle last night said has called on authorities to make the wearing of life jackets mandatory.

“A tragedy can happen anywhere on the lake,” he said.

“You can fall in to a jetty and you might come out alright 101 times and it's that one time something goes wrong and its something that needs to be addressed and someone needs to make sure there is something there to safeguard people,” he said.

UUP councillor Rosemary Barton said: "It is very sad that something like this should happen on what should be a fun time for families over the bank holiday weekend.

"I also commend the member of the public who raised the alert and the emergency services who reacted so swiftly to try to save lives during this incident.

PSNI Inspector Keith Hicks said: "On arrival the male was already out of the water.

“A search operation was implemented and a woman was taken from the water. Unfortunately she died a short time later in hospital.

"An investigation into the circumstances is now under way and a post mortem examination is expected to be carried out.

"Local police would extend their sympathies to the family and would offer thanks to all of the agencies involved in the operation."

A spokesman for the local RNLI said they were called out to the scene but stood down a short time later.

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