An investigation is underway following the death of a young RNLI volunteer on Arranmore Island off County Donegal.
26-year-old Lee Early got trapped underwater when his car slipped off Poolawaddy Pier into the sea at around 5.10am yesterday morning.
A passenger managed to get out of the car and swim ashore to raise the alarm.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, the RNLI's Area Lifesaving Manager Owen Medland says Lee's death is a huge loss to the community.
He said: "Lee Early was a superb young man.
"He would be a loss to any community, but none more so than in a small island community where he really was part of the fabric of this community."
Mr Medland added: "The lifeboat crew, who I have to commend, responded to the incident and made every effort on Lee's behalf.
"They're really in shock... but I think most importantly, and showing that spirit, they've maintained the lifeboat service on the island throughout."
Local Donegal TD Pat the Cope Gallagher said the whole community is in shock.
He observed: "When the news broke, a dark cloud descended over the island at the loss of this highly-regarded and popular young man from an island family."