Body of missing five-year-old boy found in lake after he fell of dinghy

The body of a missing five-year-old boy who fell off a dinghy while playing with his siblings has been found in a lake after an overnight search.

Police said the child fell into Lough Mask in County Mayo, Ireland, at around 6.30pm on Monday evening following a day of warm weather.

The incident happened near the Toormakeady side of the lough.

The alarm was raised after the inflatable was spotted floating empty in the water.

A friend of the boy’s family said the community was in “shock”.

It was previously reported that the boy was believed to have fallen from an inflatable boat or dinghy which may drifted from the shoreline.

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The search was called off on Monday night and it resumed at first light on Tuesday morning, when the tragic discovery was made.

A family friend told the Irish Independent that the boy, the youngest of five siblings, entered the water after playing with his siblings on a dinghy.

The friend said the community is in “shock”.

He added: “I know the family very well, God help them, it’s a tragedy – what a terrible, terrible thing to happen.”

Local councillor Michael Kilcoyne told Newstalk: “This is terrible news and my heart goes out to his family.

“All I can say is I am devastated to hear this news and it is most traumatic for his family.

“All I can do is extend my sympathy to the family and say a prayer for them because they are facing some nightmare.”

Gardai, the Coast Guard, Civil Defence, Lough Mask Water Rescue and local divers took part in the search operation.

Gardai confirmed that the body of the child was recovered from Lough Mask on Tuesday morning.

A garda spokesperson said in a statement: “Gardai in Castlebar assisted by Coast Guard, Civil Defence, Lough Mask Water Rescue and local divers can confirm that the search operation for the five-year-old boy has been stood down as his body was recovered from Lough Mask this morning.

“An Garda Siochana are requesting that all media respect the privacy of the family at this time.”

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Shannon carried out an aerial search while divers looked for the boy and teams scoured the lake’s surface by boat.

The Lough Mask water rescue team, a local mountain rescue service and local residents and divers were involved in the operation, which came to a tragic end on Tuesday.

Earlier, police had said the search would continue as long as possible as night fell on Monday and resume at first light on Tuesday.

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