Photographers have been warned about the dangers of coastal photography after an award-winning camera club member died in a fall from cliffs during strong winds.

The man, in his fifties and named locally as John McCourt from Antrim, Northern Ireland, fell into the sea near Fanad Lighthouse in County Donegal yesterday afternoon.

The photographer was airlifted to Letterkenny Hospital after rescue teams recovered him from the sea.

But he was later pronounced dead.

John was a member of Antrim Camera Club and has won awards for his photographs, as reported on the club’s website (John is pictured on the far-right of the group photo shown).

Ian Scott, a station officer at Malin Head Coast Guard, warned people not to get too close to the cliffs.

Scott told the Belfast Telegraph: ‘My advice to the public is not to go near cliff edges and stay a good distance away because you may feel you are taking a precaution, but the wind can lift you off your feet and blow quite a considerable distance.

‘It’s an area of outstanding beauty and it attracts a lot of visitors, but sadly sometimes people will underestimate the power of the wind and the sea.’

Former Antrim Camera Club member Nick McClelland, who met John McCourt at an event in Dunadry, Antrim, several years ago, echoed the coast guard’s warning to beware of the dangers, even when accompanied by a friend.

He told Amateur Photographer: ‘It goes to highlight the significant danger that lies out there when looking for that elusive landscape shot.

‘On one hand, Northern Ireland has some of the most beautiful coastal locations but, on the other, this tragedy goes to show just how treacherous they can be.’

Antrim Camera Club has yet to issue a comment.