Published Sunday, 13 July 2014
The Reverend Stewart Jones, aged in his 50s, was at St John's Point off the Irish coast when the incident happened at around 4.25pm on Saturday.
Emergency crews were tasked to the scene when a member of the public raised the alarm after seeing two divers in difficulty.
Rev Jones, a minister in Donemana in Co Tyrone, was taken by helicopter to Sligo Hospital for treatment following a rescue operation.
Neil Canning from Malin Head Coastguard said he was given CPR from the time of his recovery until his arrival at hospital, but sadly died.
Stewart served his congregations with great enthusiasm and complete dedication.
Dr Michael Barry
The second man, who is believed to be from Londonderry, was also airlifted to hospital during the rescue operation.
Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr Michael Barry, has led the tributes to Rev Jones.
He said: "I was saddened and shocked to hear of the untimely death of Rev Dr Stewart Jones, minister of Donemana Presbyterian Church.
"On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, I extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Patricia, his three daughters Esther, Rachel and Anna, son-in-laws Liam and David and grandchildren Lily and Joshua.
"I assure Patricia, the family circle and indeed the congregation of Donemana of the prayerful support of many throughout the Presbyterian Church in the days that lie ahead."
UUP MLA for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy - who went to school with Rev Jones - said: "He was from the Bessbrook area and he was a lovely fella, a very fine fella.
"He was academically gifted and very clever."
© UTV News