Former TV presenter dies after car enters harbour

Brian Black was an environment correspondent for UTV.

A former TV presenter has died after his car entered the water at a harbour in Northern Ireland.

Brian Black, who had worked as a presenter and programme maker with UTV for 20 years, was freed from the vehicle when it plunged into the Strangford harbour on Tuesday morning.

Mr Black, who was in his 70s and was known for his reporting on environmental issues, later died in hospital.

Brian Black and his dog Flub (UTV/PA)

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) – along with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), Coastguard and RNLI – were involved in the efforts to rescue the pensioner from the car.

UTV paid tribute to the journalist.

“The UTV family is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of former reporter and presenter Brian Black,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

“Brian worked at UTV for over 20 years, starting in 1982, reporting news and presenting the current affairs programme, Counterpoint.

“He also presented several environmental programmes including Hidden Heritage and Cuilcagh – Bog on the Brink.”

The statement added: “Brian won many awards in his role as Environment Correspondent for UTV, and has been described by former colleagues as a talented and driven journalist.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

UTV’s political editor Ken Reid said he and his colleagues were in a state of shock.

He tweeted: “Devastated. My old UTV colleague Brian Black has been killed in a tragic accident. He was a special man, great communicator with a special passion for improving our environment. The UTV family is in a state of shock at the loss. RIP.”

Former UTV presenter Gerry Kelly also expressed his shock.

“I am devastated to learn of the tragic death of my former UTV colleague Brian Black. May he rest in peace,” he wrote on Twitter.

Another ex-UTV presenter, Adrian Logan, tweeted: “Just heard the news about my former UTV colleague Brian Black. Very sad. RIP.”

Strangford harbour incident
The car involved in the fatal incident is examined after it was removed from the water at the harbour in Strangford (Liam McBurney/PA)

A NIFRS spokesman said Mr Black had been freed from the car by members of the public and the Coastguard.

“The Coastguard helicopter carried out an aerial search, while NIFRS specialist rescue team and the RNLI carried out search on the water to make sure there were no other casualties,” he said.

The NIAS said it received a 999 call at 11.42am on Tuesday.

Two emergency crews were dispatched, and assisted by the charity Air Ambulance.

Mr Black was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by road ambulance.

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