A diver suffering from decompression sickness was airlifted from Co Clare to University College Hospital in Galway this evening.

The 37-year-old man, who is believed to be from the Limerick area, became ill after making what is described as a rapid ascent from 38 metres of water at Bishop's Island, near Kilkee.

The Kilkee Coastguard and Rescue Unit went to his assistance and he was airlifted to hospital by the Shannon based coastguard helicopter just after 6pm.

The man was diving from a dive boat with members of a Limerick-based sub-aqua club.

Elsewhere, a diver has been airlifted from Strangford Lough in Co Down to Largs in Scotland for treatment in a decompression chamber because of fears for his physical safety.

It is understood people on the dive boat became concerned after he resurfaced too quickly and needed oxygen.

Steve Palmer from the Belfast Coastguard said the move was a precautionary one against the illness known as the bends.