The deceased man was submerged in water for hours.

A 27-year-old man died in hospital yesterday after being rescued from a raging river in County Limerick in the southwest of Ireland.

The deceased man, Noel Quinlivan of Castleconnell near the city of Limerick, was one of four men in their 20s and 30s who were thrown into the River Shannon’s high water in a boat accident.

The men had reportedly gotten into a small, 16ft fibreglass boat in the early morning hours following a house party.

The boat overturned within minutes, throwing the men into the river, still high and flowing rapidly due to recent flooding in the area.

Three of the men were able to get close enough to shore for one of the men to make a call to emergency services.

Four fire engines from Limerick City Fire and Rescue, a helicopter from Killaloe Coast Guard, local police and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue responded and began rescue efforts before dawn.

The three men near to the shore were rescued quickly and taken to hospital to be treated for hypothermia and one man’s seriously injured leg.

Quinlivan was found in the middle of the river, tangled in a large tree that had been carried downstream in the recent flooding, with only his head visible above water.

Three specially-trained swiftwater rescue technicians (SRT) from the Limerick fire service swam out to Quinlivan and eventually managed to free the man and bring him to shore around 7am.

Quinlivan’s body temperature was critically low after nearly three hours in the cold water and he later died at University Hospital in Limerick.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “This was a very perilous and evolving situation and all who were involved in the rescue did a marvellous job in getting the four men to shore. The river was like a rapid.”

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