Tragedy as woman is swept away; drownIng 1.
The woman, named locally as Julie Burke, had been swimming at Kilmacreehy near Liscannor in Co Clare when she got into difficulty.
Ms Burke, who is believed to be from Moyross in Limerick, was swept out to sea at around 3pm and emergency services were immediately called to the scene.
The incident occurred just over a kilometre from where Clare County Council lifeguards were on duty at Lahinch beach.
A number of people tried to rescue Ms Burke from the water but despite their frantic efforts the current pulled her out to sea.
The Irish naval offshore patrol vessel, the LE Aisling, which had been anchored in Lahinch Bay at the time, responded to a request from Valentia Coast Guard to help in the rescue effort.
The crew quickly sent out a rigid inflatable boat and they managed to recover the woman from the water.
Ms Burke was unconscious when she was pulled from the sea and emergency services performed CPR as the boat raced to nearby Liscannor pier to waiting paramedics.
Fire brigade, Irish Coast Guard and ambulance paramedics took turns administering CPR until the Shannon-based rescue helicopter reached the scene.
Ms Burke was airlifted to Galway University Hospital but she was pronounced dead at around 5.45pm last night.
Gardai from Ennistymon are investigating the tragedy.