Belfast Telegraph

Donegal woman drowns in Australia dive tragedy

By Stephen Maguire and Fiona Ellis

An Irishwoman drowned in Australia while on an introductory diving course.

Elaine Morrow from Ballintra in Co Donegal died when diving with a group at Langford Island in the Whitsunday Islands off North Queensland in Australia.

The NUI Maynooth science graduate, who had been living in the country since January, failed to resurface after a dive at around 4pm on Monday.

Ms Morrow was on the second day of a three-day dive on board a boat touring the islands with about a dozen other tourists. She was found a short time later on the ocean floor and despite a number of people performing CPR she could not be revived.

She was then taken to Haman Island Medical Centre where a nurse administered CPR but this also failed.

Before her death, Ms Morrow had been excitedly posting on her Facebook page about her forthcoming trip.

On Saturday Ms Morrow updated her current location on Facebook to Airlie Beach, Queensland.

Moments earlier she posted about her excitement at travelling around the Whitsunday Islands. "Fraser island = savage!!! Bitten all over but who the hell cares!! Now its time for the Whitsundays....3 glorious days on a lovely boat!!" she wrote.

Ms Morrow had been based in Sydney but travelled along the coast for a break.

The Whitsunday Islands are hugely popular as a tourist destination and attract thousands of diving enthusiasts every year.

The Mayor of Ballyshannon, Brendan Travers, said news of the tragedy had stunned south west Donegal.

"When something like this comes out of the blue it's so hard for people to take. I have read some of the comments on the various social networks today and they are heartbreaking," he said. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with her family," he said.

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