Northern Ireland

Belfast-born diver dies while exploring shipwreck in Cyprus

Dennis Reid.
Dennis Reid. Dennis Reid.

A BELFAST-born scuba diver has died while exploring the wreck of a ferry off the coast of Cyprus.

Dennis Reid, who lived in Cyprus and ran a diving company in the Protaras area, was reported missing after diving to the wreck of the MS Zenobia on Thursday.

The body of the 66-year-old former police officer was recovered inside the wreck on Friday morning following a large-scale search and rescue operation.

His death was described as a "tragic diving accident" in a social media post by St John’s Derryneia church, which Mr Reid is understood to have attended.

"We offer sincere condolences to Dennis' wife Olesea, his brother Billy and sister in law Linda in Cyprus and all the Reid family and friends in Northern Ireland. May Dennis rest in peace and rise in glory," the post said.

Mr Reid is understood to have dived to the wreck of the Zenobia numerous times, and it is not yet known what caused the accident.

The ship sank in June 1980 on its maiden voyage, and lies on the sea floor at a depth of around 138 feet.

It is one of the most popular shipwrecks for scuba diving in the world, though six other people are reported to have died while exploring it in the years following the sinking.

Andreas Charalambides, commander of the Larnaca search and rescue coordination centre, said: "The conditions in the wreck are not easy, there is lack of visibility and it can be hard to find the exit.”