Dublin man who drowned off coast of Egypt while saving woman's life, named locally

A Dublin man who died after a freediving accident in Egypt has been named locally as Stephen Keenan, writes Ciara Phelan.

Mr Keenan, from Glasnevin in Dublin, encountered difficulty while he attempted to help a female freediver who became disorientated underwater.

Witnesses have said the female freediver was missing her return to line back-up, which is a breathing apparatus.

The Arch of Dahab Blue Hole, Egypt.
The Arch of Dahab Blue Hole, Egypt.

Mr Keenan noticed the woman had become disorientated and dived underwater to try and help her but subsequently suffered an in-water blackout.

An in-water blackout is the consequence of breath-holding.

He was recovered from the sea alive in Dahab, but passed away a short time later.

The female diver who he provided assistance to, suffered no injuries.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed they are helping his family.

The female was attempting to complete a dive through the Arch of Dahab Blue Hole, in the Red Sea - the stretch is located 185ft below the surface.

The dive has claimed the lives of up to 130 people over the past 15 years.

A Facebook group for freedivers in Dahab paid tribute to Mr Keenan said it was a "traumatic experience" for the freedivers who witnessed the accident.

"Dear friends around the world, many of you have already heard the tragic news, our smiling Irish left us yesterday while doing a deep safety; he was doing what he cherished the most: being fully committed for others.

"We in Dahab are out of breath. We need first some peace and silence for few days. It was a traumatic experience for many freedivers who were there and they absolutely did the best they could to bring back Steve to us. But it was just impossible.

"We would deeply appreciate your respect for Steve's family and close friends at this time.

A warm thanks for all your very precious messages.

dahab freedivers team."

One of Mr Keenan's friends from the diving community also paid tribute to him on Facebook.

Anna von Boetticher wrote: "Heartbroken and speechless over the loss of our best safety diver and friend. Steve Keenan. Always there to keep us safe."


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