Victim got into difficulty crossing deep channel in the centre of Lough Leane.
There is a reef in the area where the water is shallower, but beyond that there is a channel where the water plunges to greater depths. It’s believed the man began to struggle while crossing this channel. A boat in the area reported hearing shouts for help.
The alarm was first raised by the man’s companion, and rescue crews at Shannon helicopter base joined the Ballybunion and Valentia coastguard units in the launch of a rescue operation.
There were also four local boats, the Killarney rescue boat, and some local scuba divers involved in the search.
The man’s body was recovered by the scuba divers at 7.43pm. It was taken ashore at which time it’s understood the man’s family were with gardai.
A spokesman for Valentia Coastguard explained that despite the absence of tidal hazards in fresh water, it is more dangerous than the sea for swimmers. “There is less buoyancy in rivers and lakes due to absence of salt in the water and it is also much colder,” he said.
“It is much more difficult than swimming in the sea. It’s frustrating there are so many young people gone in this fine weather – it’s a matter of educating people really – they don’t realise the danger,” he said. “I’ve been here the past 30 years and I haven’t heard of any drowning in those lakes.”