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Irishman drowns after Christian pilgrimage

An Irishman has drowned after taking a sunset dip in the sea at the end of a hike across northern Spain during a Christian pilgrimage.

The victim died after bathing in the waters of the Atlantic in the Galician town of Finisterre.

He was thought to have just completed the famous Way of Saint James, better known by pilgrims as the Camino de Santiago, shortly before his death.

The 500 mile walk starts in St Jean de Luz in France and ends in the Galician cathedral city the pilgrimage is named after.

Many who complete the five-week journey end up continuing to Cabo Finisterre, a rock-bound peninsula a five-day walk from Santiago which in Roman times was believed to be the end of the known world.

The tragedy occurred at a beach called Mar de Fora, known as being one of the most dangerous in the area because of its strong currents.

The dead man was with two female friends who raised the alarm around 8pm on Thursday after they spotted he was in difficulties in the water.

Locals are understood to have pulled him out of the sea and spent around 40 minutes trying to revive him as paramedics raced to the scene before a doctor arrived and pronounced him dead.

Deputy mayor Xan Carlos Sar told regional newspaper La Voz de Galicia: "The sea was rough and the women saw him being swept away by currents.

"The emergency services were alerted and when Civil Protection workers arrived they had hold of him and were dragging him back towards the beach.

"They spent 40 minutes trying to revive him before an ambulance arrived and a doctor on board certified him dead.

David Lopez, a local who assisted in the rescue, told another local paper: "A lad from town called Andres tried to save him but couldn't do anything."

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