Young man's lifeboat colleagues 'worked valiantly' to try and save him from car in sea

Young man's lifeboat colleagues 'worked valiantly' to try and save him from  car in sea
Leigh Early.

Arranmore Island is in mourning following the death of a young local man in a tragic drowning at the weekend.

26-year-old lifeboat volunteer Leigh Early died after getting trapped when his car slipped off a pier into the sea off the coast of Co Donegal, yesterday morning.

The RNLI's Area Lifesaving Manager, Owen Medland, said another man who was a passenger in the car managed to swim ashore.

Mr Medland said: "He managed to extract himself from the car and raise the alarm.

"Everywhere on the island can be remote and the people were on attendance as quickly as possible. Our volunteers from the lifeboat worked so hard and valiantly to save Leigh, but sadly it wasn't to be.

"I'm sure the authorities will carry out a full investigation around the circumstances.

Nonetheless it is simply a tragedy for the lifeboat crew, Leigh 's family in particular, and the whole of this community.

Local deputy, Pat the Cope Gallagher, says a sense of deep shock has descended on the island, off the West Coast of County Donegal.

He said: "The island people, his family, his brother and sisters are totally devastated as a result. When the news broke a dark cloud descended over the island at the loss of this highly regarded and popular young man from an island family."


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