A WEST Cork woman who died yesterday while swimming near Snave Pier outside Bantry has been described as an inspiration to her community.
Tributes were paid to the 76-year-old local lady after her body was recovered off the Cork coast.
Bantry Inshore Search and Rescue, Castletownbere RNLI, the LÉ James Joyce and two ribs - as well as Castletownbere Coast Guard- were all involved in the search operation after the alarm was raised. The search operation concluded at around 6:50pm yesterday.
She was known to be a regular sea swimmer and it is believed she became caught in a current in the water.
A Garda spokesperson confirmed that a file is being prepared for the local Coroner in relation to the matter.
County Mayor and Independent Councillor Danny Collins praised everyone involved in the search operation. He also extended his condolences to the family.
"She was a lovely person with a lovely family who are in all our thoughts," he said. "She was also involved in the local photography club who bring out a calendar every year to raise funds for Cancer connect-a charity transporting cancer patients to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
One woman living nearby described the woman as extremely outgoing and deeply involved in the community.
"She was a lovely lady who had returned back from England years ago,” she said. “This is very tragic for the family who are all living locally.
"She was always very outgoing with a constant smile on her face. I can still picture the smile she had from the last time I saw her.
"She had a lot of female friends who all must be devastated after what has happened."
The local described why she was inspirational to her community.
The local described the loss as tragic and heart-breaking.
"I think everybody experienced that sense of dread when they heard the helicopters. It's so heart-breaking that this is happening at a time when everyone is starting to meet and begin their lives again after Covid. Our thoughts are with her family and friends who must be really suffering right now."