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tragic death Local in shock at tragic drowning death of young Irishman in San Sebastian

The body of the man, who was aged in his early 30s, was recovered from the sea yesterday morning at Zurriola Beach


Zurriola Beach. 

Zurriola Beach. 

Zurriola Beach. 

An Irish ex-pat living in the city of San Sebastian in the Basque Country, Spain has described how the tragic death of a young Irishman in a drowning incident at a beach near the town has shocked locals. 

The body of the man, who was aged in his early 30s, was recovered from the sea yesterday morning at Zurriola Beach.

The Basque newspaper El Diario Vasco reported on Friday that the 31-year-old Irishman was found dead in the water. One other man who is also believed to be Irish, was rescued while a third raised the alarm when he lost sight of his two friends.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been quoted as saying it is aware of the case and was providing consular assistance to the family but would not comment on any details of the incident.

According to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, the alarm was raised when a man lost sight of two of his friends who had jumped into the sea at around 4.45am.

A search was undertaken by emergency services with the assistance of surfers and one of the men was located safe on the beach.

At around 7am, the body of the other man was retrieved from the water.

An Irish primary school teacher who lives in the area, Evelyn Manley tweeted: “Terrible news here in San Sebastián, a young Irishman's body has been pulled out of the sea in the early hours of the morning. Such tragic news. An autopsy is being carried out. His two friends have survived the accident. My heart goes out to the families.”

Speaking to Sundayworld.com, Evelyn who is originally from Bandon, Co Cork, but has lived in the area for more than 30 years, said: “It’s been on the news here all day yesterday that a young Irishman was found dead.

“They haven’t named anybody but it was a group of young men, we’re now hearing there were four of them apparently, who were involved.

"The emergency services were alerted because there were people in the water. Two surfers found the body.

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“I rang the hospital to see if I could be of any help but they said they were able to cope with everything there themselves. I just wanted to see if I could be of assistance to anybody who might not be able to speak the language.

“We’re assuming that these lads were on holidays because there are not many of us Irish living here and we would all know each other.

“And it is well known among locals that of the three beaches here, this one in particular is very dangerous and they may not have been aware of that. It’s really only used by surfers because of the waves and it is unpredictable. But it’s very tragic.

“A German man died there a couple years ago but nearly every year the beach claims somebody, even in daylight.”

Evelyn's 17-year-old daughter Mirin said young people would go to the beach when it was sunny but they would not swim there.

“There are warning signs but not many and there wouldn’t be flags up in the night-time,” she said. “It’s very sad news and everyone here is talking about it.”

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