Northern Ireland

Tributes paid as talented soccer player killed in jetski accident

Wassiou Ayawe (19) died following a jetski incident at Lough Derg in Co Clare on Wednesday evening.
Wassiou Ayawe (19) died following a jetski incident at Lough Derg in Co Clare on Wednesday evening.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a young man after he died following a jetski accident at a lake on the Shannon River.

Wassiou Ayawe, who was 19 and from Limerick city, died following the incident at Lough Derg in the Killaloe area of Co Clare on Wednesday evening.

Emergency services were called to the area at around 5.30pm after reports that a man was in difficulty in the water.

It is understood the victim was travelling on the jetski along with two other people before the vehicle overturned.

The two passengers are understood to have made their way safely to shore.

A search of the water was carried out by the Coast Guard and members of a local Search and Rescue team, before a body was recovered at around 7.30pm.

The young man was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was taken to University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem examination.

A Gardaí spokesperson said the force is “treating this matter as tragic accident”.

Mr Ayawe was a talented soccer player, who played for Limerick FC's underage squad.

He was previously a youth player for Granville Rangers, and a team spokesperson said they were "deeply saddened" at his loss in a statement posted to social media.

They said he was a "standout talent and an absolute pleasure to have at our club".

"From an early age Wassiou’s potential as a footballer was in abundance, and consistently displayed the ability and talent that most of us could only dream of having, and there was no limit to what this young man could’ve achieved with his amazing talent and determination."

They added: "We wish to send our most heartfelt condolences to Wassiou’s family and many friends in this devastating time."

Clare councillor Tony O'Brien, who also chairs the Killaloe-Ballina Search and Recovery Unit, said the tragedy "cast a very dark shadow over the community".

He added the lake "is a very popular place for young people to gather".