Tributes paid to two holidaymakers drowned in Crete

Families being assisted by Greek authorities and Department of Foreign Affairs

 

Tributes have been paid to the two Irish men who drowned on Friday evening amid strong waves on popular beach on the Greek island of Crete. The parents of Kevin Devine (46), Drogheda, Co Louth, said their son would be “missed by his family, friends and colleagues in the Department of Health” where he worked.

The bodies of Mr Devine and his partner John Lynch (45) were recovered from the sea off Mavros Molos beach on Kissamos Bay.

In a statement last night, Mr Devine’s parents Mary and Owen said their second eldest child was “beloved by his brothers and sister. He loved travel, music and discovering new bands.” Mr Devine was born and raised in Drogheda and studied linguistics and French at UCD. He also studied marketing at Mountjoy Square.

Mr Lynch was an accomplished international musician and played viola with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. While born in Melbourne, he had dual Irish-Australian citizenship. His parents John, originally from Donegal and his mother June Lynch have both died; he is survived by three sisters and a large network of friends and relations in Ireland and internationally.

Mr Devine’s parents said they were being assisted by the authorities in Greece and by the Department of Foreign Affairs and “deeply appreciate their support at this difficult time”. Funeral arrangements will be made once the bodies have been repatriated.

A coastguard official in Kissamos said the two men entered the water after 5.30pm on Friday although there was a red flag flying on the beach warning against bathing. When one of them got into difficulty, he called on the other man for help but the adverse conditions prevented them from returning to the beach.

Young men who were surfing in the same area eventually reached and retrieved the men, who, according to the coastguard, were dead when they were brought ashore. The beach is normally supervised but the official said that the duty lifeguard had finished his shift shortly before the men went in for a swim.