It emerged at the weekend that Sean McBride had been the victim of a terrible workplace accident in Western Australia when the scaffolding he was working on collapsed into the sea on Saturday.
It is understood that Mr McBride had been working in Australia for a number of years and only returned there six weeks ago having been on holiday back home in Donegal.
Witnesses say that Mr McBride was dismantling scaffolding at the wharf on East Intercourse Island in the town of Dampier when they heard the scaffolding collapse on Saturday afternoon.
Those in the area did not see anyone fall, but when they searched for the man, they could only find a safety helmet floating in the water nearby.
Emergency services were called to the scene, as were police divers from Perth. Dampier police confirmed on Sunday that divers retrieved the man’s body from the area.
The Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum is examining the circumstances surrounding the incident and has sent an investigator from Karratha to the site.
A spokesman for the company Mr McBride was working for, Rio Tinto, said: “All work has ceased at East Intercourse Island and access to the site has been closed,” he said.
Rio’s Managing Director of Expansion Projects, David Joyce, says investigations are underway.
“This has shocked us to the core; safety is a number one priority for Rio Tinto and we’ve taken this incident very, very seriously,” he said.
Speaking to the Donegal News, local Burtonport Councillor, David Alcorn, said the entire community are devastated by the young man’s death.
“Sean was an outstanding young man, a great worker. It’s terrible, these accidents always seem to happen to the best of them.”
Cllr Alcorn concluded: “As a local councillor on behalf of the community, I would like to offer my sincere sympathy to the entire family circle. The McBride family are very much involved in our community and our prayers and thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.”
Mr McBride is survived by his mother, Sylvia. His father Joe, a well-known fisherman passed away suddenly ten years ago. He is also survived by two brothers and three sisters.