Two families have spoken of their double heartbreak after two lovers drowned, one trying to save the other.
46 year-old Kevin Devine was enjoying a holiday in Crete with his partner 45 year-old John Lynch. At about 5.40pm on Friday, one of the men got into difficulty while swimming in the sea off Mavros Molos beach in Kissamos.
His partner tried to help him, but was unable to pull him from the water; both men were apparently pulled to their deaths by the strong riptide current in that area of the sea. Their bodies were spotted floating in the sea by swimmers and the emergency services were alerted.
Although the sea off Mavros Molos beach is usually supervised by a lifeguard, a coastguard official said that the lifeguard on duty at that time had finisihed his shift and left the beach shortly before the men started their swim.
The parents of Kevin Devine issued a short statement: “We received notification from An Garda Siochana on Saturday morning of the accidental drowning in Crete of our son Kevin and his partner John Lynch. Kevin was the second eldest of our children and beloved by his brothers and sister.
“He loved travel, music and discovering new bands. He will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues in the Department of Health. We are being assisted by the authorities in Greece and the Department of Foreign Affairs and deeply appreciate their support at this difficult time. Funeral arrangements will be made when the repatriation process is complete and family/friends will be notified directly.”
Mr Devine, who worked as a civil servant, was born and raised in Drogheda. Mr Lynch, who played viola with the National Symphony Orchestra, was born and raised in Melbourne in Australia. He is survived by his parents and three sisters.across the world.