Diver who died off Donegal coast named locally

Patrick Doran had been taking part in a diving event when he got into difficulty

Rescue 118 was called to assist the search on Saturday afternoon

A diver who died off the coast of Donegal on Saturday has been named locally as Patrick Doran.

Mr Doran, who was in his 40s, was originally from Leitrim village in Co Leitrim.

He was one of more than 100 divers who took part in a two-day event organised by the Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club.

A number of dives were planned at Malin Beg and Sliabh Liag for the event, the North West Dive Rally.


Around midday on Saturday the alarm was raised after two divers got into difficulty. A search and rescue operation was launched and co-ordinated by the Malin Head Coast Guard.

The operation involved a number of agencies including the Killybegs Coast Guard, An Garda Síochána, the National Ambulance Service, shore crews and the Rescue 118 helicopter.

One missing diver was recovered from the sea and pronounced dead at the scene.

A second diver, who was also missing, managed to get to the surface.

He was treated at the scene and brought to Galway University Hospital for treatment.

The man, who is in his 60s, was treated for decompression sickness known as the bends.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council and local Killybegs-based county councillor Niamh Kennedy said her heart “missed a beat” when she heard of the tragedy.

She said: “When you live in a coastal area you are always weary of the dangers the sea poses and unfortunately tragedy has visited us once more.

“It is only when a tragedy like this visits your community that you realise how dangerous the sea really is. .

“Our hearts go out to this man and his poor family and all that they are going through. We pray for them and we pray for the second man who was thankfully rescued and we hope that he will make a full recovery.

“My thoughts too are with the Donegal Bay sub Aqua Club who hosted this event and we hope that they are not suffering too much.”

She also paid tribute to those who took part in the search and rescue mission. “We have to pay tribute to all these volunteers who risk their own lives in these circumstances and every time something tragic like this happens.”

A decision to cancel the rest of the weekend event was taken immediately after the tragedy.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said that the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) in Malin had responded to a diving incident in Teelin at around 12.20pm yesterday.