SDLP Moyle District Councillor Donal Cunningham has expressed sympathy and sadness after a young girl died after falling into the sea at Bushfoot Strand in Portballintrae.
Cllr Cunningham said: “This is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the young girl’s family who must be totally devastated at this time.
“There is an overwhelming sense of sadness in Portballintrae as people learn that this child’s life has been taken in such a cruel way in an area of such beauty.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her relatives as they try to come to terms with their loss.”
Moyle Independent Councillor, Padraig Mc Shane has described the accident at Runkerry Beech as;
“A heart wrenching tragedy for the family and friends of the ten year old girl. The exact circumstances that lead up to the tragedy have yet to be established however, given the good weather we had on Sunday many visitors would have made their way to the beeches along Moyle’s Coastline.
“I have spoken with members of the local community here at the Causeway tonight and they are devastated at this awful news. On behalf of myself and the community I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with them over this tragic period.”
The 10-year-old girl got into difficulties in the water and died on Sunday night.
The girl was rescued from the sea — it is believed that her father got the child to shore — on Sunday afternoon and attempts were made to save her life, initially on the beach and then in hospital.
But last night the child, who had been in a “life-threatening condition” when taken into hospital, died.
It is understood that prior to her death last night doctors had attempted to transfer her from the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine to Belfast but the ambulance had to turn back after her condition deteriorated.
On a day of warm sunshine on the north coast, the family were relaxing at the beach on the outskirts of Portballintrae when the 10-year-old girl got into difficulties in the sea.
By the time three emergency vehicles and a lifeboat arrived at the scene, the child had been rescued from the water but was seriously ill on the beach.
Paramedics worked to revive the girl and she was taken by ambulance to the Causeway Hospital.