TRIBUTES have started to pour in for a Waterford based Garda who died after getting into difficulty during a dive off Hook Head this afternoon.
Gardaí and the Coast Guard received a report of a diver in difficulty at around midday 15 nautical miles from Hook head, Co Wexford. A group of divers were in the water when Garda David Hearne of Waterford Garda Station became critically injured.
Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, the RNLI Lifeboat from Kilmore Quay and the LÉ Orla Navy Patrol Boat all responded.
The father of four, who was based in the Roads Policing Unit in Waterford City, was recovered from the water. He was airlifted to Waterford University Hospital, but had tragically passed away.
Members of Waterford’s emergency services shared their condolences online. Waterford City Fire Service said, “He was a very popular and a highly decorated Garda having won a number of awards for bravery.” Garda Hearne had rescued three people from the River Suir and the Colligan River in Dungarvan.