A man has died after a car, driven by a female friend, crashed through a quayside barrier and ended up in the water.
The circumstances of the tragic incident in Arklow, Co Wicklow, were being investigated by gardai last night as the woman was recovering from her ordeal in hospital.
Officers said they were waiting to interview the survivor, Polish-born Marta Herda, and regarded her evidence as crucial to their inquiries.
One officer said: "We are keeping an open mind on the status of our inquiries until we have spoken at length with this woman".
She managed to swim to the quayside in sub-zero temperatures and pull herself out of the water.
The dead man was named as Hungarian national Orsos Csaba, (31) of Brookview Court in Arklow.
His body was recovered later about two miles from the scene of the incident, at Clogga strand, after it was spotted by a walker.
Gardai were alerted around 6am when they received reports that a woman had been heard screaming at the South Quay in the town.
Officers found Ms Herda, in her mid-20s, of Parc na Sille, Moclew Road, Tinahask, Arklow, on the quayside, and she appeared to be very agitated and distressed. Gardai said she was very wet and was attempting to speak to them in Polish.
They discovered damage to a crash barrier and an ESB box at the quay and also noticed a piece of a car bumper hanging from the barrier before eventually falling into the water.
Gardai established that Ms Herda had been driving her own car, a gold-coloured VW Passat, which had ended up in the water.
Her housemate arrived and translated for the gardai, who found out that Mr Csaba had also been in the car.
With the help of the garda water unit, the fire brigade service and the coastguard, the car was found submerged in the water.
Initially they could not get close to the vehicle because it was swaying in the water and a crane was eventually used to stabilise the car and recover the body.
Ms Herda was taken to Loughlinstown hospital for treatment mainly for shock and distress but was said to be in a stable condition last night.
Gardai later called to Mr Csaba's house and interviewed his housemate Ms Dzintra Dudare.
The front door of the house was wide open but Ms Dudare said she had closed the door when she arrived home, went to bed at 1am and did not see Mr Csaba.
There were heartbreaking scenes as the family and friends of Mr Csaba waited at the harbour in Arklow, Co Wicklow, for news on his whereabouts.
At one point his brother, Zoltan Sandro, was visibly emotional as he cried out and kicked at the shutters of a nearby building in frustration.
Ms Herda is originally from Lublin, in Poland.
It is understood that she managed to escape from the car as it entered the water.
However, It was understood Mr Csaba was unable to free himself and his body was discovered nine hours later at around the same time that the car was raised from the seabed by crane.
It was badly damaged and was upside- down when retrieved.
Friends and family members swiftly left the harbour on hearing the news.
The two friends both worked as waiters at the Brooklodge Hotel and have lived in Ireland for a number of years.
"I got a call from a friend this morning, someone who knows Marta, who said she was in the hospital and my brother may be dead," Zoltan, struggling to hold back tears, said.
"My brother loved her," he added.
Pawal Sosnowski, a manager at Brooklodge, said that the news had reached staff at the hotel and they spent the day concerned about the employees.
"We had heard news that (Marta) escaped, but we had no news on him," he said.
Gardai and the Coast Guard both worked throughout the day in difficult weather conditions on the search.
Body recovered two miles from quay where car pulled out of the water
View Arklow tragedy in a larger map