Noel Daly, from Ardfield in Clonakilty, died on Monday evening after fishing by the rocks of a nearby bay when he came home from work.
The 57-year-old married father of one is believed to have walked the short distance from his home to the water in order to relax while fishing.
However, he is understood to have been swept from the rocks and into the water a short time later.
His body was located by a passerby in the water just after 7pm on Monday evening when Mr Daly’s wife Monica became concerned about his safety.
Superintendent Pat Maher said conditions were misty at the time of the incident and that it was highly likely the 57-year-old had either been swept into the water by a wave or had lost his footing on the rocks while fishing.
Supt Maher added that the death would add to the heartache in West Cork caused by the tragedy in Bantry Bay earlier that evening which led to three deaths.
Mike Schmidt, Richard Harman and Wolfgang Schroder died after the 25ft Castaway pleasure cruiser burst into flames just off the coast of Adrigole on Monday evening.
The recent tragedies have highlighted the need for vigilance of safety precautions for those using Irish waterways.
The Irish Water Safety group has estimated that at least 70% of deaths in open water, lakes and rivers in this country could be prevented if people were to wear personal flotation devices.
While detailed legislation exists governing the use of personal flotation devices in commercial settings such as fishing, the legal requirements rapidly dilute when one looks at the recreational use of boats.
However, according to John Leech of Irish Water Safety, that does not mean there is a need for more laws, but rather a need for better education and awareness, particularly among those who use boats for pleasure.