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Irish baby's miracle escape after car rolls off pier into a lake

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 12/05/2017 Trevor Quinn
Irish baby's miracle escape after car rolls off pier into Lough Derg © Getty Images Irish baby's miracle escape after car rolls off pier into Lough Derg

A six-month-old baby had a miracle escape from a car which rolled off a pier into a lake.

A couple parked their vehicle and left it momentarily with their infant strapped into a car seat, before a shocking sequence of events almost led to tragedy.

The windows were down but suddenly the car started to move forward at Knockaphort Pier in Mountshannon, Co Clare.

The Dublin couple’s motor gained momentum as it rolled down the decline and into Lough Derg, narrowly missing local angler John Barry, who sprang into action.

He and the traumatised mum both managed to grab the baby - still in its car seat - from the submerging car.

The shocked local man said: “I was in the water at the bow of my boat when a car passed me by, going at a considerable clip and it came dangerously close to me.

“I was standing beside my boat, up to my waist in water, and the car came within inches of me. I didn’t see the car coming until I just heard screeching and I looked up.”

The fisherman said he was in complete disbelief and he didn’t know the seriousness of the situation until he heard the baby’s mother screaming: “There is a baby in the car.”

John added: “She was running towards the car at this stage. The woman and I both went to the car. It was taking on considerable water. The water was up to my waist and the car had gone past me; the water was well over the seats in the car.

“The baby and the car seat were taken from the car. There were shoes floating around and a few other bits and pieces and I took those out of the car and brought them up, as much as I could salvage, before it got too wet.

“The car was filling up with water very fast. It all happened so fast; it was nearly over before I knew what had happened.”

John described how the parents were very distressed but the reaction of the baby was quite the opposite.

He said: “The baby wasn’t in any way traumatised. The baby didn’t even get wet. I never saw such a happy baby in all my life. The baby was smiling in its mother’s arms, going up the pier.”

Just over 13 months after the Buncrana Pier tragedy when five members of one family died when their car slipped into the sea off Co Donegal, the fisherman acknowledged it “had the makings of a tragic accident”.

Credits: Collins Photo Agency © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Collins Photo Agency

The accident happened last Saturday but no Gardai or emergency services were contacted and John only went public today.

After the baby was rescued John helped the couple to retrieve the car from the water.

He told The Clare Champion: “The mother was very distressed but, when the two of us calmed down, I told her I had a ratchet strap in the back of my van. I managed to hook it to the back of the car and I pulled the car up out of the water and back up onto the pier. It took a considerable pull but I got it up.”

Neither the couple nor the baby, who were visiting the area, required any medical attention.

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