Saturday 23 September 2017

Fisherman and tourist drown in separate tragedies

Greg Harkin and Tom Shiel

TWO men died in separate drowning incidents yesterday.

A Polish man who had been living in Ireland for a number of years died after being hit by a freak wave on a fishing trip with friends.

The 55-year-old fisherman, who was married and had been living in Co Kildare, drowned when he fell off rocks into the sea at Mullaghmore Head, Co Sligo.

He was with several other anglers in the area when the incident occurred.

It's understood two companions had left their friend to fish further up the coast at 8am yesterday and raised the alarm when they returned to find him missing. They were able to pull his body from the water.

The incident happened in an area notorious for freak waves. Local anglers tend to avoid the area.

The body of the man was taken to Sligo General Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

And in a separate incident a body was taken from the sea at Westport, Co Mayo.

It was that of a Scottish man who had been visiting the area for the St Patrick's weekend.

The man was identified later as Michael Reilly (54) from Ardrossan, North Ayrshire.

Mr Reilly, who had been travelling alone, was booked into a local B&B.

He was identified from documents he had been carrying. The body was taken to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar for a post-mortem exam. The deaths of the two foreign nationals are in addition to the death of a Norwegian fisherman at the weekend.

The body of the fisherman – who fell into the sea at Killybegs, County Donegal – was located on Sunday.

Gardai described the death of the 41-year-old father of three as a tragic accident. They said he was on his way back to his trawler at 3am on Sunday morning after a night with colleagues in Killybegs.

He was walking ahead of them and they believed he reached his trawler, which sails out of Hagesund, Norway, some minutes before them. But when the boat's chef went to wake him in the morning the bunk had not been slept and the alarm was raised. His body was discovered around 1pm in the water at neighbouring Blackrock Pier.

Irish Independent

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