Man drowned trying to save dog from river, inquest told
Wednesday, 7th December 2005
A 34-year-old Co Fermanagh man was swept away and drowned in a swollen river into which he had jumped in a vain bid to rescue his dog, an inquest heard today.
Martin Gerald Logue, of Glen Road, Drumquin, was out for his regular Sunday afternoon walk along the banks of the River Bannagh, near Kesh, with his wife, son and nephew, when tragedy struck in April.
His widow, Donna, told the inquest in Enniskillen that, at around 5pm on April 17, they were taking their usual walk with the dog and, as usual, the dog had gone for a swim in a rock pool.
However, the inquest heard, after incessant rain, the river was swollen and fast flowing.
Mrs Logue sat weeping quietly in the witness box as her statement was read to the inquest by a police officer.
In it, she said: "The dog was swept away by the current. He was obviously tying to fight the current and swim back, but couldn`t."
She said her husband said he would wade in to try to get the dog, but she told him not to.
Her husband waded in anyway, she said. "The water was below his knees. There was a life ring nearby and I went to get it, but, when I turned back, Martin must have slipped and disappeared.
"He came back up and went under again. This happened a few times."
Mrs Logue said she shouted to her son and nephew to run and raise the alarm.
"A few moments later I saw Martin floating down the river. He was face down and on the other side of the river."
She said she ran to dial 999 to raise the alarm.
A search was mounted along the riverbanks and an RNLI lifeboat was called in.
Police Constable Gordon Lee, who led the hunt, told the inquest there had been "heavy, insistent rain" and the river was "heavily swollen and fast flowing".
He said the search went on through the evening but was called off at 9.30pm without Mr Logue being found.
The search resumed again at 8am the next day and, half an hour later, the body was recovered.
Ryan Connolly, a long-time friend of Mr Logue`s, told the inquest: "Myself, Martin`s brother, Peter, and another man were walking down the left bank the next morning. I saw a body against the bank, face-down.
"I knew by the back of the head it was Martin and went to alert the police."
Coroner John Leckey recorded Mr Logue had died from freshwater drowning.
"He was attempting to rescue his dog, the river was swollen by heavy rain and he was swept away," he recorded.
He told Mrs Logue that it was the instinct of dog owners to try to rescue their pets in such circumstances.
But he added: "So often the person attempting the rescue dies and the animal survives."
On this occasion, however, the dog was never recovered."
Read more Local News >>