Belfast Telegraph

Tributes for Kenny Andrews who died in Lough Erne jet ski tragedy

By Allan Preston

The family of a Bangor man who died in Lough Erne have thanked the emergency services who found his body.

The search for Kenny Andrews (31) was launched after an incident involving a jet ski at around 5pm on Sunday, near Kesh, in the Muckross Bay area of Lower Lough Erne.

A 28-year-old man was rescued from the water before Mr Andrew's body was eventually discovered in the water on Monday evening.

Mr Andrews had been looking forward to his wedding after getting engaged in New York in February.

In a statement, the PSNI said: "His fiancee and family have expressed their thanks to the emergency services who were involved in the search for him."

Mr Andrews had also been the managing director for the Newtownards-based Damp Proofing NI company.

Family friends were also quick to pay tribute to Mr Andrews on social media. Jonny Beattie shared a happy memory of Mr Andrews, posting a video of the young businessman singing in a work van.

"Broken man tonight. Kenny Andrews, you weren't just a friend, more like a brother to me, a lot of people loved," he said.

"You were kind, funny, will miss you big man and our wee videos every day, thinking of your lovely family, RIP brother."

Stephen Kennedy said: "We're all broken-hearted that this happened."

Jeremy Kennedy called him "a genuine person whose smile lit up any room".

He added: "Totally devastated. What a hole in everyone's hearts you are leaving behind. Words are not enough sometimes. Take care big buddy."

Alliance MLA for Strangford Kellie Armstrong said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kenny Andrews and his colleagues in Damp Proofing NI, Newtownards."

SDLP councillor for Erne North John Coyle said: "My deepest condolences goes to the family of Kenny Andrews, who lost his life at Muckross in Kesh on Sunday. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

Green Party MLA for North Down Steven Agnew said: "This is a very difficult time for the family of Mr Andrews, his fiancee and his friends.

"It's an untimely passing of a young man, who appeared to be making big plans for the future with his fiancee and business venture. My thoughts are with his family, fiancee and friends."

The Community Rescue Service (CRS) said the search continued late into Sunday before being resumed early on Monday.

The multi-agency response also involved the PSNI, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, RNLI and the Irish Coastguard helicopter from Sligo.

On Monday morning, following a joint operation by the CRS and PSNI, the deceased's body was recovered by the PSNI dive team and brought to shore.

Commenting yesterday, the CRS said: "The management and volunteers of the Community Rescue Service extend their deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased at this sad time."

DUP leader and Fermanagh MLA Arlene Foster said: "This is deeply sad news.

"Will be thinking of those involved and their families. Thank you to those involved in the search and rescue, who worked so tirelessly to help find those missing."

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said: "This will mark a period of great grief for the next of kin.

"It would appear that what had started out as an exciting afternoon on a jet ski unfortunately has now ended with a fatality.

"At this very difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family, together with those of the rescued jet skier."

She added: "Once again, given the unpredictable conditions of inland waterways, I would appeal that those using the loughs exercise all safety precautions and also check the expected changes in the weather.

"I again re-iterate my thanks to those in the emergency services, who helped following this incident."

The PSNI said that they are not treating the death of Mr Andrews as suspicious at this time and that a post-mortem examination will take place in due course.

Funeral details have yet to be announced.

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