A swimmer is recovering after being rescued from a lake last night following a frantic search that lasted over an hour and a half.

The dramatic rescue was made on Lough Rea in mid Co. Galway just as hope was fading that the swimmer would be found.

The swimmer, believed to be a woman in her early 40s, had gone swimming at the popular lake during the warm evening.

The alarm was raised shortly after 7.30pm when she went missing on Lough Rea.

Loughrea Fire Brigade and the other emergency services rushed to the scene, while the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 115 helicopter based at Shannon was tasked and joined the search.

The search initially took place on the eastern shore of the lake before being expanded as local people joined the search in a frantic effort to locate the missing woman.

The lake is very popular with swimmers throughout the year but particularly during warm weather.

The lake has a lifeguard service.

Rescue crews from Galway city 40km away rushed to the scene in an effort to locate the missing swimmer.

The search of the 260 hectare lake was expanded as darkness fell and hopes were fading.

But then the woman was located in the middle of the lake. Rescue services said she was struggling and very cold but not injured.

She was removed to a waiting ambulance on the shore where she received treatment and the search was stood down.

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