Northern Ireland news

Derry boy (16) and man (60) drown off Donegal

A 16-year-old boy and a man (60) have drowned off Malin Head in Co Donegal. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy from Derry and a man in his sixties have died after being rescued from the sea off Malin Head in Donegal.

The pair were rescued with a third man, also believed to be from Derry, when a boat capsized yesterday.

The teenage boy was airlifted to Altnagelvin Hospital where he later died.

The man in his sixties, who is believed to be from Donegal, was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital but was later pronounced dead.

The third man, who is in his fifties, was also taken to Altnagelvin. He was discharged today.

It was reported that a small boat left the coast at about midday yesterday.

There were reports that calls for help were heard by people on the shore later in the afternoon.

Joe Joyce from Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat, told the BBC they received a call at 3.30pm yesterday that a boat had capsized at Malin Head.

He said some holidaymakers heard shouts from the water.

"They looked out and saw people in the water and they contacted Malin Head marine rescue centre," he said.

Mr Joyce said two lifeboats were launched from Buncrana. A coastguard boat from Greencastle and the coastguard rescue helicopter were also called to the scene.

He said the coastguard rescued one person. A fishing boat found another person clinging to a buoy in the water.

"The search for the third person went on for an hour," he said. Mr Joyce said the third person was later found "washed up on the shore".

It is believed the three people were in the water around about half a mile from land.

"This is a difficult time for everybody and our thoughts are very much with the family of the deceased people," he said.

Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion said she was shocked by the deaths.

“This is terrible news for any family to receive and my thoughts are with them at this difficult time," she said.

“It must also have been a traumatic experience for those holidaymakers who saw the boat get into difficulty and raised the alarm.

“I want to commend the action of the lifeboat crews involved in the rescue effort and hope those injured can make a full recovery.

“Our sympathies and condolences go to those bereaved by this tragedy and I’m sure the communities in both Derry and Donegal will support them in the time ahead.” 

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