Belfast Telegraph

Police question man after drowning

Police have been given an extra 36 hours to question a 26-year-old man after a Ballymena man drowned in the River Bann at the weekend.

The man who died was Owen McKeown, 21, from the Dunclug estate.

He went into the water close to the Bann Road bridge in Kilrea at about 6pm on Saturday. His body was found on Sunday.

Two other men, aged 25 and 30, have been released pending further enquiries.

Rescue teams began searching for the man on Saturday night and about 50 volunteers were involved.

On Sunday small boats were launched on the river as the hunt for the man continued.

Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay said the community in the Bann Valley area was in shock and added it was a sad reminder of how dangerous the River Bann is.

He paid tribute to the emergency services and volunteers involved in the recovery operation.

The North Antrim MLA said: "This incident, whatever the circumstances, is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the young man who sadly lost his life." He added: "There still is a lack of clarity as to what happened in this case and anyone who has information relating to this incident should bring that forward."

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

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