Monday 26 September 2016

Body recovered by divers in search for missing Japanese couple is that of missing husband

Brian O'Reill, Pat Flynn & Ed Carty

Published 30/08/2015 | 13:03

Kilkee Bay where the search is centred. Inset: Male American and Japanese national Eiji Takagi (63) and female Japanese national Ushio Azaki (61)
Kilkee Bay where the search is centred. Inset: Male American and Japanese national Eiji Takagi (63) and female Japanese national Ushio Azaki (61)
Missing tourists Eiji Takagi and Ushio Azaki

Divers searching for Japanese tourists in Kilkee, Co. Clare have recovered a body.

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American and Japanese national Eiji Takagi (63) and Japanese national Ushio Azaki (61) checked out of hotel accommodation in Spanish Point, Co Clare last Saturday morning, and have not been seen since.

The body of Mr Takagi was recovered from the water at around noon today.

The Irish Coast Guard unit in Kilkee said Mr Takagi's body was recovered at about midday in water off George's Head, Co Clare, a popular scenic spot overlooking the Atlantic, by divers from Kilkee and Burren sub aqua clubs.

Dive teams recommenced the search for his partner Ms Azaki - however diving was suspended at 5.30pm this evening. The search will resume again tomorrow morning.

It is understood Mr Takagi's body was found below the cliff in water about 27m deep.

Authorities have also been in contact with the Embassy of Japan in Dublin.

Along with search and rescue teams from Lough Derg, Ennis and Aughinish local coast guard units from Kilkee, Doolin and Ballybunion were involved the week-long search along with Civil Defence teams from Clare and Laois.

The couple hired a car at Shannon airport and stayed at a number of lodgings along the west coast before the vehicle was seen parked at George's Head over the course of several days.

The pair had checked out of a hotel in Spanish Point, Co Clare, on the day they are believed to have disappeared and were due to catch a flight from Shannon Airport back to Tokyo, via Heathrow, last Monday.

Authorities have also been in contact with the Embassy of Japan in Dublin.

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