15-year-old boy, Colin Polland, tried to save Kevin O’Hare from a disused Paul's Quarry, Annalong. County Down. Both men died.Photopress Belfast

A 15-year-old boy and a man trying to save him both drowned in a disused quarry in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Independent reports that Colin Polland jumped into the water at the isolated quarry in rural Co Down in an attempt to save the teenager, Kevin O'Hare, but both died.

Kevin got into difficulties while swimming in the deep waters of Paul's Quarry on the outskirts of the seaside village of Annalong late Saturday afternoon and a friend ran to raise the alarm.

Mr Polland responded and jumped in in an attempt to rescue the boy. Polland was originally from Northern Ireland but had been living in England, and it is understood he was back in the region on holiday.

Emergency crews, including police divers, were involved in an evening-long operation to recover the bodies from the former granite quarry, which has become a popular swimming spot with young people.

Post mortem examinations would be carried out in due course, said police.

The Annalong area has been hit by a series of tragedies in the last decade, including the deaths of three men in a light aircraft crash four years ago and the loss of three family members in the sinking of a fishing boat in 2002.

"This area has suffered many tragedies over the last number of years and this is another dreadful event that will shock the entire community," said South Down Assembly member Jim Wells.

 "I would hope there will be a full investigation to establish what happened - we need to improve safety in these sort of situations."