There were reports of a number of children going missing this afternoon on Rossnowlagh beach in south Donegal while beaches across the county were extremely busy as the glorious weather continues.
Events such as the currach racing in Kilybegs also attracted huge numbers but in Rossnowlagh there were concerns for a number of children who went missing and with difficulties when hundreds of motorists left the beach as the tide came in.
A full scale search was sparked at Rossnowlagh beach this afternoon after a 6-year-old boy went missing.
An anxious relative raised the alarm at around 4pm by making a 999 call that was put through to Malin Head Coast Guard.
Bundoran RNLI, Killybegs Coast Guard, the Rescue 118 Coast Guard helicopter from Sligo were all involved in the search for the boy who was last seen near the water.
They were assisted by local people in boats and on jet-skis.
On the crowded beach, shore crew from Bundoran RNLI also helped in the search.
As the search continued, Malin Head Coast Guard received another call regarding a second child, aged eight, who had gone missing not far from the Sandhouse Hotel.
This child was located within a short time.
At around 4.50pm, almost an hour after the initial report, the 6-year-old was found by a family member and the search was called off.
Volunteer helm for the RNLI Lifeboat, Iarla Carty, afterwards:
“Once again, we had another happy ending to a callout and another example of rescue agencies working together for a positive resolution.
“We would encourage parents to be vigilant with their children around the water, particularly when the weather is so good’.
While the search was underway, gardaí also received a number of complaints about traffic chaos at the popular beach.
“A very large number of cars were parked on the beach and many of the owners began to panic a bit as the tide started to come in,” a garda source stated.
Because so many people were trying to leave at the same time, there were massive tailbacks.
“This increased the sense of panic among some drivers.”
Garda units from Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Donegal Town were despatched at 4.30 to prevent any more cars going on to the beach and to manage traffic leaving the beach.