Diver suffers burn injuries


A diver has suffered burn injuries following an incident off the Old Head of Kinsale yesterday.

The man was diving near the wreck of the passenger ship Lusitaniawhen his heat pad he was wearing ruptured. It is believed the man suffered burns to 30 per cent of his body. Such pads help to alleviate the cold during dives of greater depth.

According to a Coastguard spokesman, the man had been diving for 20 minutes at the time and was at "an extreme depth" of some 90 metres (some 300 feet) when the incident occurred.

The man, who was with a number of other divers, managed to make his way to the dive boat following a controlled ascent.

The Coast Guard received a call at 2.20pm and a Waterford-based helicopter airlifted the man, who is Irish, to Cork airport. He was then taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital. A rapid-response unit with a doctor was also in attendance, and the man arrived at hospital at 3.45pm.

A spokesman for Cork University Hospital described the man's condition as "stable and comfortable" and said he was not suffering from decompression sickness.

It has been confirmed the man was diving under licence issued by the Department of the Environment.

The Lusitania,which lies some 12 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, sank after it was torpedoed by a German submarine on May 7th, 1915 with the loss of over 1,100 lives. The wreck is subject to a heritage order due to its historical significance.