A 15-year-old girl from Limerick was dramatically rescued from the sea in Kilkee on Sunday after diving from a 60 foot cliff.
The girl, named locally as Kelly Sexton, was injured after diving from a spot at the Diamond Rocks on the West End.
Ms Sexton, who has just turned 15, entered the water at an acute angle and was knocked unconscious.
A group of her friends noticed she was in trouble and entered the water, pulling her onto a ledge beside the cliff, while emergency services were contacted.
“She dived into the water from a cliff that kids are diving from. She hit the water hard, I would say, and she lost consciousness,” explained Martony Vaughan, area officer with the Irish Coast Guard Kilkee Unit, which recently merged with the Kilkee Marine Rescue Service.
A rapid response paramedic unit was dispatched from Ennis, as was an ambulance crew from Kilrush, while the Coast Guard arrived on the scene less than five minutes after getting the call after 5pm on Sunday.
The girl had regained consciousness by the time emergency services arrived, and was winched up to the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and taken to University Hospital Limerick.
A Garda Press Office spokesman said her injuries were “non life threatening”.
It is understood that Ms Sexton suffered bruised ribs and some minor facial injuries in the incident, but is otherwise in a stable condition.
Mr Vaughan praised the quick thinking actions of Ms Sexton’s friends in pulling her from the water.
“Her friends were excellent, they took her from the water and up onto the ledge,” he explained, adding that the presence of the Limerick Sub Aqua club in the vicinity at the time was “very helpful” in managing the incident.
Mr Vaughan appealed to anyone caught up in an incident by the sea “no matter how trivial it is”, to call the Coast Guard in the first instance.
“Call 112 or 999 and ask for the Coast Guard and we will be tasked immediately to go out,” he explained.
This is the fourth time in two weeks that the helicopter has been dispatched to Kilkee, with two Limerick men drowning in recent weeks.
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