Inquest into death of diver off Arranmore in 2008

An inquest has been told how an experienced diver disappeared just five feet from the safety of rocks after a diving expedition went fatally wrong in 2008.

41 year old Ann Howard disappeared off Arranmore Island.

Letterkenny Coroner's Court heard she was an experienced diver of more than 10 years and had been part of a team of eight divers who were diving at a place known as Paradise Cavern on May 9th, 2008.

The group had come over from Manchester to spend a number of days in the area and conditions were described as perfect on the day with little wind

Pathologist Dr.Katriona Dillon said death was due to drowning and there was no evidence of disease and no alcohol or drugs found in the body.

The dead woman's boyfriend, Steven Quarmby, also an experienced diver, asked a number of questions and said he could not understand what had happened to his partner.

A diving equipment expert, Mr Rory Golden of Flagship Scuba Diving from Dublin, examined the dead woman's diving equipment.

He was critical that Ms Howard had used a number of different types of breathing equipment and put them together which he said was not recommended.

But Ms Howard's boyfriend, Mr.Quarmby said she had used equipment since 2002 and had never had a problem with it.

The jury found Ms Howard died from drowning in accordance with the coroner's direction.