Investigation into tragic death of Limerick diver

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

The search and rescue units were dispatched after the alarm was raised shortly after 6pm on Saturday evening last, when the victim failed to surface from the water near Roches Point in Cork
REPORTS are being compiled into the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of a Limerick diver in Cork at the weekend.

REPORTS are being compiled into the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of a Limerick diver in Cork at the weekend.

Father of one John McNally, 46, from Bruff, county Limerick, died after an incident during a recreational dive off Roches Point in County Cork on Saturday evening.

Gardaí and the Marine Casualty Investigation Board have launched separate investigations after the two fatal diving accidents off Cork and Donegal last weekend.

Mr McNally, a father of one and a member of the Limerick Sub Aqua Club, one of the oldest diving clubs in the country, died after getting into difficulty while diving with a group of up to six people from a six-metre rib off Roches Point.

It is understood he was on a dive boat with members of a Cork diving club on the wreck of a German U-boat in about 26 metres of water — well within the recreational dive limit.

The alarm was raised at 6.08pm when it was reported a diver was in difficulty and had not resurfaced.

Valentia Coast Guard tasked Crosshaven RNLI, Crosshaven Coast Guard unit and the Coast Guard’s Waterford-based Rescue 117 helicopter to respond.

The lifeboat crew raced to the scene with oxygen bottles. Mr McNally was recovered from the water unconscious and a GP aboard the dive boat began first aid.

The dive boat raced back towards shore and met the lifeboat off Camden Fort, a lifeboat crewman transferring to the dive boat and helping with first aid as the Coast Guard unit secured a landing site for the helicopter. The rib continued to Crosshaven where first aid was continued until an ambulance arrived, taking Mr McNally to Cork University Hospital.

He was pronounced dead a short time later. A postmortem examination has been carried out but the details have not been released.

Funeral arrangements were not confirmed at the time of going to print.

In a statement, the Irish Underwater Council said they “are saddened to report the tragic death of one of our members, from Limerick Sub Aqua Club during a diving incident on Saturday 14th June.

“We would like to thank the prompt actions of the Emergency Services and fellow members of Limerick Sub Aqua and other clubs who assisted in the rescue operation. We wish to pass on our condolences to the family, friends and club members at this sad time,” they stated.

The council and the club had no further comment to make at this time.

Meanwhile, the coastguard has repeated its safety warnings after two men died in diving accidents over the weekend - that of Mr McNally and a Polish man, aged 42, who died after an incident during a technical dive off Malin Head.

He got into difficulty during a technical dive with four other divers on a wreck in about 42 metres of water near Inishtrahull, off Malin Head.