Former UTV presenter Brian Black dies after car plunges into Strangford Lough
Former UTV presenter Brian Black has died after his car plunged into Strangford Lough this morning.
Police received a report at 11.30am this morning that a car had entered the lough at the harbour.
The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said Mr Black was rescued from the vehicle by members of the public and the coastguard.
He was then taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital by ambulance, where he later died.
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."
Among those paying tribute to Mr Black were his former UTV colleagues Kate Smith, Gerry Kelly and Ken Reid:
Shocked and so sad to hear of the death of my former UTV and prior to that RTE colleague Brian Black. I’ve known him a lifetime ... he was always a true professional and a wonderful colleague.Deepest sympathy to his family .. RIP Brian pic.twitter.com/QKfRwrHiTy— Kate Smith (@deanescranmore) August 4, 2020
I am devastated to learn of the tragic death of my former UTV colleague Brian Black.May he rest in peace.— Gerry Kelly (@GerryKellyShow) August 4, 2020
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— Ken Reid #wash your hands and keep a safe distance (@KenReid_utv) August 4, 2020