herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

RTE musician drowns trying to save his partner

THIS is the couple who drowned in a failed rescue bid off the Greek island of Crete.

RTE employee John Lynch (45) died while trying to save his partner Kevin Devine (46) in a tragic accident while on holiday.

It is understood that Mr Devine got into difficulty at Mavros Molos beach in the town of Kissamos, in the western part of the island, on Friday.

Orchestra

Dublin resident Mr Lynch, an associate principal violist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, desperately tried to save his partner, but was unable to pull him from the water and both men drowned.

Mr Lynch is originally from Nunawading in Melbourne, Australia, but has lived in Dublin for many years.

Mr Devine was a civil servant in the Department of Health who was from Drogheda, Co Louth, but also lived in the capital.

It is believed fellow swimmers did not realise anything was wrong until they saw the two men's bodies floating in the sea and notified emergency services.

The bodies were taken to Chania General Hospital.

In a statement released last night, the family of Mr Devine said they were heartbroken at his passing.

"Kevin was the second eldest of our children and beloved by his brothers and sister," they said in a statement. "He loved travel, music and discovering new bands.

"He will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues in the Department of Health."

The family confirmed that they are being assisted by the authorities in Greece and the Department of Foreign Affairs and "deeply appreciate their support at this difficult time".

Mr Lynch, who also taught at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, had an Irish passport, and his father originally came from Co Donegal.

Kissamos Port Authority confirmed that the two men drowned while swimming at Mavros Molos beach last Friday.

A spokeswoman told the Herald: "It happened before 6pm on Friday. I don't know which man was in the water, but he asked for help, and the other approached him, and then they had the accident.

AMBULANCE

"At 6pm the ambulance arrived and took the bodies from the beach, and then they were taken to the general hospital in Chania."

Mr Lynch gave the Irish premiere of the sonata for viola and harp by Ukrainian composer Valeri Kikta at the opening concert of the 2005 World Harp Congress.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it is offering consular assistance to the men's families.

hnews@herald.ie

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