An Garda Síochána has confirmed that a search and rescue operation at Fountainstown Beach, near Crosshaven, Co Cork, has been stood down following the recovery of the body of a female child this evening, Tuesday, September 5.

Gardaí said they received a report of a female child entering the water at Fountainstown Beach at approximately 4:40 pm on Tuesday afternoon.

A search and rescue operation was launched involving the Coast Guard, RNLI, Fire Services, Customs, Mallow River Rescue, and Garda Units from Crosshaven and Carrigaline Garda stations.

At approximately 7:45 pm, the body of the child was removed from the water by emergency services and pronounced deceased.

The body of the child will be removed from the scene and taken to Cork University Hospital where a post-mortem will take place, Gardaí said.

The child is reported to have been eight years old.

Corkbeo understands that the girl was playing with three young boys in what appeared to be a very safe part of the bay when a large wave hit and swept the group of children into the water. Eye-witnesses said the boys managed to get out but the girl was swept out and away so quickly that nobody had time to react.

Local politicians have responded to the tragedy.

Cllr Marcia D'Alton said on social media: "A devastatingly heartbreaking tragedy at Fountainstown beach this evening.

"Once again, we have witnessed at first hand the courage and tenacity of the rescue services.

"There are simply no words adequate for the pain of such a loss. Rest easy little beautiful."

Cllr Audrey Buckley said: "Such truly devastating and heartbreaking news this evening. She has been found.

"There are no words to express the loss of a young child.

"There has been an outpouring of support for the local family. Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends. Rest In Peace.

"Thank You to the speed and efficiency of emergency services that were on site at #Fountainstown beach this evening."

Echo Live noted that Tuesday's tragedy comes in the wake of a number of deaths in the sea in Cork in recent weeks. 

Jack O'Sullivan, 14, died on August 24 after he got into difficulty while swimming with friends at Passage West on Cork's Lower Harbour.

On August 24, Ivan Chittenden, 64, and Brendan Wall, 45, died in separate incidents during the swim section of the Ironman event in Youghal, Co Cork.