A YOUNG couple from the North of Ireland has drowned while on honeymoon in South Africa.
John Rodgers, 28, and his wife Lynette, 26, from Holywood in Co Down, were found on a beach at Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape on Friday, October 23.
It is believed they had gone for a swim shortly after arriving at the holiday resort and became caught up in a rip tide.
A local man raised the alarm at about 6pm local time after discovering the body of Mr Rodgers in on Robberg Beach, according to the National Sea Rescue Institute.
His wife’s Lynette's body was found about 200 metres away.
Despite efforts to resuscitate them, they were declared dead at the scene.
The accident occurred six days after the couple were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Holywood, Co Down.
Rescue workers said sea conditions were rough at the time, with strong rip currents in the water.
In a statement on Sunday morning, the families of the couple said: "It has come as a great shock to both the Reilly and Rodgers families to learn of the sudden and tragic events in South Africa, which has taken the lives of Lynette and John.
"Our happiness in sharing their recent wedding has been thoroughly devastated. Both were very dearly loved and brought us great joy."
The UK Foreign Office said it was providing assistance to both families "at this extremely difficult time, and will remain in contact with local authorities".
Post mortem examinations are due to be carried out on the bodies of the couple.
The families of the couple hope their bodies will be returned home later this week.