Man died ‘trying to find golf balls in golf course lake’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 15, 2021 12:22

A Northern Irish golf club has said it is very saddened to learn that a man in his 50s died while trying to retrieve golf balls from one of its lakes.

The man was with a partner, and both were wearing the correct scuba diving gear and had retrieved several balls from the water at Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf & Country Club, when a call was made to emergency services in late October.

A member of the local Community Service Rescue (CSR) team who attended the scene alongside NI Fire and Rescue officers and paramedics said the man appeared to have the correct equipment to carry out the diving.

“It was evident that they had already recovered some golf balls from the lake because there were a couple of bags of golf balls at the edge of the lake,” CSR regional commander Sean McCarry said, adding: “So they had been fairly successful in the job they were doing up to that point.”

One of the lakes at Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf & Country Club. Image from Facebook

A risk assessment document issued by a scuba diving club for retrieving golf balls warns collectors that balls are usually ‘buried in silt’ and are gathered by kneeling on the bottom of the body of water and using ‘touch alone’.

The document from Totnes Sub Aqua Club warns: ‘Underwater visibility is usually reduced to near zero once collection commences. In such conditions it is virtually impossible to read instruments without rising above the silt cloud, or to retain buddy contact.’

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has launched an investigation.

Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf and Country Club said it was very saddened to learn of the fatality.

“We assisted the emergency services, when needed, yesterday. Our thoughts are with the bereaved family at this difficult time.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 15, 2021 12:22
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1 Comment

  1. Peter November 15, 16:47

    These “lakes’ can be very tough environments to navigate ! Silt buildup, vegetation growth and chemical leeching, can present unique problems ! Especially for the untrained, inexperienced and unknowledgeable !! In the past, we’ve always used, seasoned divers with proper equipment !! At one time, the Captain of the very prestigious, underwater search team of NYPD, advised and worked alongside our people !! We also donated findings !! In one case, we found an old cart, nobody knew was submerged, that could have presented problems !!

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