Wassiou Ayawe, from Co Limerick, died after the jet ski he was riding with two other people on Lough Derg reportedly flipped over on Wednesday, May 31.

"Gardaí and other emergency services attended the scene of an incident in Lough Derg at Killaloe, County Clare, on the evening of Wednesday 31st May 2023 following reports of a male getting into difficulty in the water," a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána told IrishCentral on Thursday.

"Following an extensive search by Gardaí, the Killaloe Coast Guard, the Killaloe/Ballina Search and Rescue, and the Killaloe Fire Service, the body of one male (19 years) was recovered this evening and pronounced deceased at the scene."

The spokesperson noted that following early enquiries, An Garda Síochána are currently treating this matter as a tragic accident.

A spokesperson for Ireland's Department of Transport separately said on Wednesday that the Irish Coast Guard had been alerted to an incident where a jet ski had gotten into difficulty in the area between Ballina, Co Tipperary and Killaloe, Co Clare.

Valentia Coast Guard coordinated a search and rescue operation in conjunction with An Garda Síochána and the National Ambulance Service. Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter R115 and Killaloe Coast Guard Unit were tasked to the scene.

"Two casualties made their way to shore," the spokesperson said, adding, "Following a further search of the area, a third casualty was recovered who has unfortunately lost his life."

Tony O'Brien, the chairperson of the Killaloe-Ballina Search and Recovery Unit, told RTÉ Radio 1 on Thursday: "It was a very tragic accident.

"A young man and his friends out enjoying themselves on the water and an incident occurred.

"Exactly what happened is still a matter for investigation and gardaí are trying to find out."

O'Brien, who said the incident has "cast a very dark shadow over the community," added that jet skis have become popular in the local area in recent years and also urged people to use caution when going out on the water. 

"It’s a very busy time," O'Brien said, "The weather yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. There wasn’t a ripple on the water. It was just idyllic.

"I would say to anybody who is thinking of going on or using the water, wherever in the country they are, you must respect it. Because when the water turns back on you, it can be very tragic as we saw yesterday evening."

Ayawe had lived in the Moyross and St. Mary's Park areas of Limerick City, according to RTE. The 19-year-old, a skilled soccer player with Limerick FC, had graduated from CBS Sexton to study at University of Limerick.

Tributes have poured in for Ayawe across social media, with one relative writing: "You meant so much to everyone, I have no words to describe the pain you left us all in I love you so much."

Ayawe's family was organizing a balloon release on Thursday evening in tribute.