S2PicA A Waterford family has been left devastated for a second time after  their two-year-old child drowned at Boatstrand last week – almost four  years to the day since they lost their little girl to a fatal illness.

Gardai are treating as a freak accident the drowning of toddler Willie  O’Reilly at Boatstrand last Thursday night. The boy had been at the  beach with his father and two uncles when the tragedy occurred.

It’s understood Willie, the youngest child of Jimmy and Helen O’Reilly, was playing  on the beach at around 7pm, while the men tended horses and ponies.

When they went to check on him, they were horrified to find him floating in the  surf. It’s thought the child went to play in the water, lost his footing when a wave  crashed in and was pulled into the shallow surf.

His distraught father Jimmy and horrified onlookers including walkers and fishermen and several children, were present as the boy was dragged from the water. CPR was performed by a local nurse, who had been passing by on her way home from a Tramore GP’s surgery.