SYMPATHIES were offered to the family of a man who died while searching for golf balls on a Co Antrim golf course.

The man believed to be in his fifties dived Tuesday with another man at a lake on the Hilton Templepatrick golf course.

The couple were wearing scuba gear and had several balls pulled out of the water before an emergency call was made.

A member of the local Community Service Rescue (CSR) team who was on site with NI Fire and Rescue officers and paramedics said the man appeared to have the correct equipment for the dive.

“It was obvious that they had already recovered some golf balls from the lake because there were a few golf balls on the edge of the lake,” said CSR Regional Commander Sean McCarry, adding, “So you have been pretty successful in the work you are up to did at that point. “

A risk assessment document issued by an English diving club for the recovery of golf balls warns collectors that balls are normally “buried in the mud” and collected by kneeling on the bottom of the water and “just touching” them.

The Totnes Sub Aqua Club document warns: “Underwater visibility is normally reduced to near zero once collection begins. In such conditions, it is virtually impossible to read instruments without stepping over the cloud of mud or making contact with friends to maintain. “

Antrim and Newtownabbey City Councils have opened an investigation.

The Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf and Country Club said it was very sad to hear of the death.

“Yesterday we supported the ambulance service if necessary. During this difficult time, our thoughts are with the family of the bereaved.”