The family of Unagh Galloghy who died the day after her car entered Lough Erne have thanked her rescuers

The car entered the water at Muckross Bay on the Boa Island Road in Kesh. Photo: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press
The car entered the water at Muckross Bay on the Boa Island Road in Kesh. Photo: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press
Share this article

The brother of a woman who died after being rescued from Lough Erne has contacted her rescuer to pass on his thanks.

A string of public representatives have expressed sympathy to the family of the woman who was rescued from the water on Saturday night but died in hospital on Monday morning.

She has been named locally as nurse Unagh Gallogly.

Police confirmed last night that “a women in her 50s involved in an incident in Kesh on Saturday [had] sadly passed away”.

Armagh man Alastair McCammon and a number of PSNI officers pulled her from the water at dusk on Saturday.

He was returning back to his caravan with his family after a day’s water skiing when he saw a police officer on Ms Gallogly’s car calling for help.

He jumped into the water to assist, diving down at least three times to pull her out. However, he played down any credit for his bravery.

“If I hadn’t done it somebody else would have,” he said.

“The police men that were there did really well too. When I got her out they started CPR on her straight away, as soon as they could. They couldn’t have done any more.”

His wife received a message of thanks from Ms Gallogly’s brother for his efforts.

However, last night Mr McCammon expressed sadness she had passed away. He told the News Letter that the longer she had survived after the rescue, the more hopeful they had been that she would pull through.

Mr McCammon said he did not know how many times he dived down into the water to free Ms Gallogly.

“It happened that fast, you know,” he told the News Letter.

Her car was mostly under water. “You could just see the boot,” he said.

The front windows were two or three feet under water while the front of the car may have been on the bottom.

“You could still see the lights on,” he said, describing the water in the area as “black”.

Ms Gallogly was not conscious when she was pulled out of the water.

Hearing the news that she had passed away yesterday morning, he said: “I was kind of expecting it to tell you the truth, but there was a wee bit of hope.”

Mr McCammon said he was so focused on rescuing her from the water he did not even notice how cold it had been.

“I never even felt it to tell you the truth.”

The family was staying in a nearby caravan site.

“We were in the water most of the day in wetsuits ... so we were used to the water.”

The family had been water skiing and when they came in for the evening, they saw the police car’s lights flashing and a police man on top of the car waving at them.

“He was looking for help,” he said.

UUP MLA Rosemary Barton last night expressed sympathy to Ms Gallogly’s family.

“This is a sad end to the situation, I offer sincere condolences to the family of the bereaved lady,” she said.

“There was certainly a valiant rescue operation to save the lady from the lough, I commend those who made the efforts and in many cases put their own lives at risk, including members of the public and emergency services.”

SDLP Fermanagh councillor John Coyle also extended his sympathy.

“This is a terrible tragedy and local people are shocked and devastated,” he said.

“There was a huge operation here on Saturday after it became apparent that a car had entered the water. Local people and the emergency services rallied to save the woman trapped in the car with no concern for their own safety. Their bravery was incredible.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the woman’s family and friends at this awful time.”

SDLP policing spokeswoman Dolores Kelly added: “I want to commend the bravery of the three PSNI officers who put themselves in harm’s way to save a woman from her car after it was submerged in Lough Erne. I want to extend my sympathies to the family of the woman who has sadly lost her life.”