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tragedy Searches continue for dad (34) swept away by strong currents on river Barrow

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Members of the Civil Defence search the River Barrow

Members of the Civil Defence search the River Barrow

Members of the Civil Defence search the River Barrow

Searches have been continuing today for Declan Reid who remains missing, four days after he was swept away by strong currents on the River Barrow in Kildare.

Mr Reid (34) had been kayaking with his eight-year-old son at Ardreigh Lock near Athy beside his old family home at around 3pm on Sunday when their boat overturned.

Mr Reid managed to keep his son afloat and raise the alarm. A young man who was passing by jumped in and made it to the riverbank after rescuing the boy.

But when he went back to save Mr Reid he could not be seen.

Mr Reid’s father jumped into the river in a frantic effort to find his son but by then the current is believed to have swept him downstream,.

He was forced to retreat back to the safety of the riverbank.

The search was launched immediately and continued until light faded on Sunday night.

It resumed again on Monday and at first light on Tuesday but it was stood down again when darkness fell.

The search got underway this morning and despite an all-day operation there was still no sign of the man.

Members of the Civil Defence and the Garda Water Unit have been involved in the search, focusing on the riverbanks from Ardreigh Lock towards Levitstown around 6km down the river towards Carlow.

Garda divers have also searched the riverbed and around trees which have fallen into the river over the years.

.The search teams were estimated to comprise more than 40 people including local volunteers.

The Civil Defence moved a sophisticated mobile communications centre onto the site to coordinate the search effort, and used sonar and trained dogs in the search as well.

Declan Reid worked in the plumbing and heating business and lived in Dublin with his partner. His father Paul runs a plumbing business from Ardreigh House, the former lock-keeper’s house beside the accident site where the Grand Canal meets the River Barrow.

It is understood the plumber's partner is seven months pregnant and the couple had been excited about welcoming their first child together.

Councillor Mark Leigh said: “The level of the water is very high and I’d say they are struggling with that at the moment.

“Hopefully those levels will come down over the coming days.

“Drones were being used on Sunday and Monday and there is a big effort being made.

“It is devastating for the town of Athy because it is a close knit community.”

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