A man who was enjoying the warm temperatures with friends in the sea at the weekend has been told he "may never walk again".

Kevin Gallagher, 56, was swimming in an alcove beach in Douglas on the Isle of Man on Saturday when the tragic accident happened.

His niece, Tolsa Bentley, 31, told the ECHO her uncle - like most of the island - was on the beach last weekend.

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Tolsa said: "He was just doing what people do, jumping in the sea and just having a good afternoon.

"And he sort of went in again not realising how much the tide had gone out.

"It was just one of them things - he completely misjudged it and landed head first on some rocks under the water which he didn't know were there."

Tolsa said her uncle's mistimed dive had resulted in him breaking his neck and severing his spinal cord, adding: "He was still conscious, he just couldn't move."

Kevin was taken to hospital on the Isle of Man but was flown over to The Walton Centre in Liverpool on Monday to receive specialist treatment.

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Tolsa said: "He's sedated and stable they're just doing more scans on him to see the full extent of what's gone on.

"His son and daughter (James, 32, and Jasmin, 31) have left the Isle of Man and are with him."

She added: "It doesn't even seem real and I know that sounds bizarre because it's been a few days but it's hard to get our head around it.

"It's so life changing from how Kevin is as a person - being up and about and enjoying life to maybe not being able to walk again."

Tolsa has set up a Gofundme page to raise money to help Kevin's children with travel expenses and to stay with their dad in Liverpool while he receives treatment.

If you would like to donate toward the fund set up for Kevin and his family, click here.

Speaking about her uncle, Tolsa said: "He's the life and soul of anywhere. He's very well known on the Isle of Man - everyone knows who Kevin Gallagher is. He's very loved, let's put it that way.

"It's hard to comment about what's to come as we don't really know, we've just got to keep our fingers crossed."

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