Former UTV presenter dies after car enters water in Co Down

The car is examined after it entered the water at the harbour in Strangford, Co Down. Photo Liam McBurney/PA

Former UTV presenter Brian Black has died after his car plunged into water in Co Down.

The incident happened at the harbour in Strangford on Tuesday morning.

Mr Black, who was in his 70s and was known for his reporting on environmental issues, was freed from the car but later died in hospital.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) along with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), Coastguard and RNLI were involved in the rescue effort.

Alliance Party MLA Kellie Armstrong said she was "shocked" to hear of the incident and it was a "terrible" accident.

UTV’s political editor Ken Reid said he and his colleagues were in a state of shock.

He tweeted: “Devastated. My old UTV colleague Brian Black has been killed in a tragic accident. He was a special man, great communicator with a special passion for improving our environment. The UTV family is in a state of shock at the loss. RIP.”

Gerry Kelly, another of Mr Black's former UTV colleagues, also expressed his shock in a Twitter post.

A NIFRS spokesman said Mr Black was rescued from the car by members of the public and the Coastguard.

“The Coastguard helicopter carried out an aerial search, while NIFRS specialist rescue team and the RNLI carried out search on the water to make sure there were no other casualties.

“The incident was dealt with by 2.01pm,” he added.

The NIAS said it received a 999 call at 11.42am on Tuesday.

Two emergency crews were dispatched, and assisted by the charity Air Ambulance.

Additional reporting: PA