'Terrible tragedy' | 

Clare lake victim (49) is remembered as ‘lovely man’

Mr Kaul was visiting Ballyalla Lake on the outskirts of the town with friends on Saturday evening when he apparently dived off the old pier at the southern end of the lake and failed to resurface.

Samir Kaul got into difficulty in Ballyalla Lake in Co Clare

Conor Feehan and Pat FlynnIndependent.ie

Warm tributes have been paid to a man who died after he got into difficulty while swimming at a lake in Co Clare at the weekend.

Samir Kaul (49), who lived on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, has been described as “the epitome of joy”.

Mr Kaul was visiting Ballyalla Lake on the outskirts of the town with friends on Saturday evening when he apparently dived off the old pier at the southern end of the lake and failed to resurface.

The alarm was raised about 6.30pm and it is understood that a number of young men jumped in after him.

They managed to reach him and bring him to the surface and then to the lake shore.

The local lifeguard also rushed to assist at the scene while gardaí, the National Ambulance Service and Irish Coast Guard were all alerted.

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, which had been dealing with another incident in Doonbeg on the Clare coast at the time was re-tasked from that mission to the unfolding incident in Ennis.

The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard, which had also been sent to the incident at Doonbeg, was also rerouted to the scene in Ennis.

Efforts to resuscitate Mr Kaul continued until ambulance paramedics arrived. Despite the best efforts of a number of people to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Rescue 115 helicopter landed in a field close to the lake in case the casualty needed to be airlifted to hospital, but the helicopter was stood down after it was confirmed Mr Kaul had died.

Mr Kaul was a regular visitor to the Foundation Ministries Pentecostal Church in Ennis, where Reverend Albert Obadeyi remembered him as a person of joy with a love of dancing.

“He was a lovely, lovely man who brought joy to the church,” Reverend Obadeyi said yesterday. “He was the epitome of joy, and he loved to dance. My memories of him are of happiness. He loved the Lord.

“I was with his family today and it is very tragic for them.

“He has an aunt in Galway and other relatives. They came today and we went to the lake. I don’t know if he lost his footing or what happened.”

A post-mortem examination was due to be carried out on Mr Kaul’s body at University Hospital Limerick yesterday.

Gardaí will also undertake an investigation into the death and prepare a file for the county coroner, who will hold an inquest at a later date.

A garda spokesperson said yesterday: “A man had dived into the water from the Old Pier.

“Gardaí and persons at the scene assisted the man and he was taken from the water.

“The man was later pronounced deceased.

“The man’s body was then removed from the scene to Limerick Morgue.”

Local councillor Paul Murphy extended his sympathy to the family of Mr Kaul, saying his own family had suffered a bereavement in the past at the same lake.

“My heart goes out to them. I had a cousin who drowned there 33 years ago. He was a married man,” he said.

“It’s a terrible tragedy now for this man’s family.

“My cousin is always on my mind when I’m getting into water.”

Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Clare Colleran Molloy, also expressed her sympathy to the family.

“It’s a very sad day to have a fatal incident like this, and I express my condolence to his family,” she said.


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