Public offer insight into Hook tragic death

By david looby

Published 14/01/2016 | 00:00

The late Aoife Winterlich
The late Aoife Winterlich

Members of the public who were at Hook Head the day 14-year-old Dublin scout Aoife Wintelich was knocked unconscious have contributed useful evidence to an Air Accident Investigation Unit probe.

Aoife was part of a group of scouts from the 55th South Circular Road scout group, who were walking around Hook Head days after storm Desmond struck. She, along with a male scout, were swept into the water and she was knocked unconscious.

Aoife fell into the water while being winched to safety along with the male casualty. She died five days later having been on life support ever since the accident.

The circumstances of Aoife's death led to widespread shock, including in Wexford. A review carried out by the Coast Guard found the winch team had no option but to lift both teenagers simultaneously due to the proximity of both to the rocks, in what was an extremely challenging manoeuvre. Scouting Ireland is carrying out its own review of the expedition.

Following a preliminary review, the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) formally initiated an investigation into the accident and will investigate the circumstances related specifically to the air rescue and recovery operation.

An AAIU spokesperson said: 'We cannot be definitive on a release date for the final report other than to say that the investigation is ongoing and it will be a number of months before it is concluded. With regard to the response from the public, the unit did receive a number of responses which were particularly helpful.'

Aoife was laid to rest amid heartbreaking scenes in Bohernabreena Cemetery on December 15. Her family asked that any donations be made to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin where she died.

Wexford People

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