24-year-old man drowns off Donegal coast
The man was named locally as Conor Cunningham of Ardara.
He was pronounced dead in Letterkenny General Hospital after getting into difficulties at Maghera beach, which is said to be a notorious danger-spot.
The alert was raised for Mr Cunningham, a father of two young children, shortly after 1 p.m.
A woman on the beach tried to rescue him and two units of Killybegs Coastguard and the Coastguard helicopter at Strandhill, Co. Sligo, attended the scene.
Mr Cunningham, a native of Clonmel but whose family has lived in Ardara for 20 years, was airlifted by the helicopter to hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 2 pm.
Conor, who lived at Inver and was separated from the mother of his two children, was with his Brazilian girlfriend.
A local community leader said he understood she only arrived in Ireland within the last few days and had very little English.
He said: “That initially gave rise to a lot of confusion on the beach. When the alert was raised the victim was believed to be a foreign national because the girl with him had very little English.
“I believe she bravely tried to help him and pulled him to shore and administered CPR but it was too late.”