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Tyrone woman drowns after falling into Lough Erne

The Round ‘O’ jetty in Enniskillen where the tragedy occurred.

A CLANABOGAN woman who died while holidaying on Lough Erne over the weekend has been described as a “loving mother who lived for her family.”

The parish of Drumragh and further afield has been left stunned by the news that 49-year-old Annette Preston (nee Sharkey) drowned following an accident in Enniskillen in the early hours of Saturday.

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Mrs Preston and her husband Steven both fell overboard while trying to get from their boat to the jetty at the Round ‘O’ jetty in Enniskillen.

Speaking to the Tyrone Herald, Mrs Preston’s brother Thomas Sharkey said her death was a tragic accident and that both the Sharkey and Preston families have been left devastated by her death.

“Annette and Stevie were making their way from the boat onto the jetty when they fell overboard,” Mr Sharkey explained.

“The boat was a little higher than the jetty and like always Stevie had taken Annette by the hand to help aid her over. She lost her footing and slipped into the water, taking Stevie with her. Stevie was able to come up for a second and call for help. Fortunately there was a man nearby who jumped in and pulled Stevie to safety. He went back in for Annette and tried his best to get her but he couldn’t.

“This was just a tragic accident and we are all completely numb,” continued Mr Sharkey.  “Steven is devastated. He has lost his wife and best friend and we will all miss Annette so much.”

“Words cannot describe how devastated we are to lose such a loving person from our lives,” said Thomas.

“Annette was a loving mother who had all the time in the world for her children and her husband. She was a simple and quiet woman. She was a mother and a housewife, who lived for her family.

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“Annette and Steven loved caravaning and sailing and they loved Lough Erne. They even had plans to sail the Shannon later this year.”

Mr Sharkey thanked the emergency services for all their help and made special mention to the man who tried desperately to save his sister.

“We cannot thank this man enough,” said Mr Sharkey. “I know he is coming to meet Stevie and we are all looking forward to meeting him and thanking him personally.

“If it weren’t for him we could be dealing with the loss of Stevie as well, and for that we have to thank him.”

Mrs Preston was brought to the South West Acute hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning but died a short time afterwards.

Her funeral took place at St Mary’s Church, Drumragh on Tuesday at 11am. She is survived by her husband Steven, their two children Stephanie (17) and Andrew (15) and wider family circle.

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