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Helensburgh death: Man charged as young woman dies after being dragged from water at pier

Charmaine O’Donnell died after plunging from Helensburgh pier
Charmaine O’Donnell died after plunging from Helensburgh pier

Rescuers leapt into the water in a vain effort to save a young woman who plunged from a pier in a tourist town.

Charmaine O’Donnell, 25, died after falling from Helensburgh pier late on Friday afternoon. A 28-year-old man has been charged in connection with her death, it was confirmed last night.

Passers by jumped in to try and save her and an RNLI lifeboat was scrambled after reports of an injured person in the water, but Miss O’Donnell is thought to have died before she could be pulled from the Firth of Clyde.

Yesterday, friends paid tribute to her on social media. A fundraising appeal for her family also raised hundreds of pounds within hours of being launched. The friend who started the crowdfunder wrote: “Charmaine tragically lost her life, and I’ve made this for anyone who would like to put a wee something if you want.”

The alarm was raised at around 5.15pm, when the popular seafront area in Helensburgh was busy with residents and day-trippers. The volunteer lifeboat crew were alerted to reports of an injured person in the water, and the Atlantic 85 vessel was launched.

The RNLI said: “Helensburgh volunteer RNLI crew were paged around 5.30pm on April 23 following reports of an injured person in the water off the pier. The station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched and quickly arrived on scene.”

The crew quickly recovered Miss O’Donnell from the water but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Forensic officers scoured the pier for clues to what happened to Miss O’Donnell.

Detective Superintendent Craig Willison said emergency services had been called to the pier, adding: “A short time later her body was recovered by the RNLI. Her family have been made aware and are being supported by officers.

Police Scotland said: “A 28-year-old man has been charged in connection with the death of a 25-year-old woman in Helensburgh, on Friday.

“He is due to appear at Dumbarton Sheriff Court tomorrow.”