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Diver (33) on caving trip goes missing in floods

A search was under way today for a male diver who went missing while exploring caves off the coast of Co Galway.

The 33-year-old Polish man was diving off Gort in the south of the county yesterday afternoon when the inland cave he was exploring flooded.

It is believed he had enough oxygen in his tank to last him until after 9pm.

However, gardai were alerted just after 9.30pm when he failed to surface.

The man is understood to have been an experienced diver.

The caves he was exploring were believed to have flooded by up to 150ft.

A search operation began at 11pm last night by Doolin Coastguard but was called off just after 1am.

Efforts to resume the search early this morning were hampered by difficult tidal conditions.

Gort Gardai, Doolin Coastguard and the local Caving Association were all involved in the search for the man.


A Garda spokesperson told the Herald: "We are assisting the Coast Guard and local groups in the search for this man but weather and tidal conditions will determine when the search can resume."

According to Conor McGrath of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation, the man had been in the cave on a number of occasions in the past.

"He was undertaking an exploratory dive. He is a very experienced diver and had been into this particular cave on a number of occasions before.

"The cave is completely flooded under any conditions so the fact that it was raining or flooding didn't really concern them. That was actually to their advantage in terms of what they wanted to do."