Oil sector expert dies while diving in Malta

Image caption,
Dennis O'Hare died while diving in Malta

A North Sea drilling industry expert has died in a diving accident in Malta, his family have confirmed.

The body of Dennis O'Hare, from Balloch, in West Dunbartonshire, will be flown back to Scotland.

It is thought the 57-year-old suffered a "traumatic event" while diving at a popular location off Cirkewwa.

His body was found floating on the surface by local fishermen and taken to land by divers from the Maltese Civil Protection Department.

Married father-of-two, Mr O'Hare had more than 30 years experience in the oil drilling industry.

The one-time Strathclyde University lecturer had been in management on rigs all over the world.

A spokesman for the family said: "Dennis was a huge personality, a loving husband, father, son and brother who had a great zest for life.

"He was one of the pioneers of North Sea drilling who went on to work for the biggest exploration companies in the world.

"After his family, diving was his passion and he was very, very experienced and meticulous about safety.

"Until the cause of death is established any speculation about the nature of his fatal accident is just that - speculation.

"The family wish to express their gratitude to the Maltese authorities for their help.

"All his family and friends are completely devastated at the loss of this wonderful man. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

Mr O'Hare, who graduated from Glasgow and Heriot-Watt Universities, leaves his wife Lesley, and two teenage children, James and Kathryn.

His elderly mother Mary O'Hare was being comforted by family and friends.

Members of Mr O'Hare's family have flown to Malta to start the process of repatriating his body.

The family requested privacy to come to terms with their loss.