Northern Ireland news

Warning signs at Carrickfinn beach in Co Donegal after three-year-old child sinks to waist in sand

The landing strip at the nearby airport, which runs alongside Carrickfinn beach, has been voted the second most scenic in the world

WARNING signs are to be displayed prominently at a renowned Co Donegal beauty spot after a three-year-old child sank into the sand as he played on the beach.

The boy was rescued by his mother on Saturday after sinking to his waist on Carrickfinn beach, along west Donegal's Wild Atlantic Way.

Diane Robinson, from Annagary, issued a warning on Facebook, urging people with young children and pets to beware of the deceptively treacherous sand at the water's edge.

"Just a wee heads up, especially with so many young families walking the beach over the Christmas/New Year," she wrote.

"I've walked Carrickfinn Beach for years and never experienced what I did yesterday, and I just want others to be fully aware.

"At the Ballymanus/airport side of the beach, at the small rock pools, my kids were happily splashing in their wellies in water of no more than 2/3 inches.

"Suddenly, my 3 year old sank to his knees. In the seconds it took to run to him, he was in to his waist. I had no leverage to pull him out so I had to get in beside him, and I sank to my thighs.

"Luckily I could push him up and out and use a rock to get myself out. But a child by themselves, or a family pet, might not be able.

"We've lost many a wellie in Annagry tide/Carrickfinn over the years, but nothing like was scary stuff! So just be aware; it's not always as safe as it may look. Take care!"

Another mother, Sarah Anne McGinley, described how "the exact same thing happened" with her son last year when the child was just two-and-a-half.

"I was so shook up afterwards, we got the fright of our life.

"I was standing right beside him, (when) he just sank. I went down right up to my thighs too.

"I managed to get my hands under his bum and pushed him out... So scary, I was pregnant as well."

Carrickfinn is a `blue flag' beach close Annagry village, and has lifeguards on duty between June and September, but not in the winter.

The landing strip at the nearby airport, which runs alongside the beach, has been voted the second most scenic in the world after the Caribbean island of Saba,

Independent councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said warning signs "are going up today as we speak" in response to the latest scare.

"I would ask people to be cautious of that short section of the beach," he said.

"Carrickfinn is most definitely safe for everybody to use and I would encourage people to enjoy the beach but just to be aware of that small section of moving sand."

Diane Robinson, from Annagary, Co Donegal, issued a warning on Facebook

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