Thursday 27 April 2017

Relief as fisherman's body found

Community 'would not give up' on search for John

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

John Ennis: boat went down on February 18. Mary Browne

THE family of a man whose body was recovered after 31 days lost at sea yesterday thanked the community for not giving up until he was found.

Father-of-four John Ennis disappeared after the boat he was working on, Na Buachailli, went down about 100 metres from the shore near Duncannon, Co Wexford, on February 18.

The family of Mr Ennis (64) expressed relief after his body was recovered in one of the most intense searches the country has ever seen.

Up to 1,000 people -- from teenagers to pensioners -- were involved in the non-stop, 24-hour searches for his remains.

His daughter, Aisling, paid a moving tribute to searchers yesterday. "It's a comfort to know that people would not give up looking for him until he was found," she said.

John Fitzgerald, who was involved in the search, expressed deep gratitude to the community for finding his father-in-law's body. "There was a fantastic response from the community," he said.

"We had five boats out for 31 days. Every day we had a 24-hour search. We had tower lights at three points in case he rose and went out to sea. We are so grateful to everyone. We can never thank them enough."

Car ferry skipper Martin Nolan, who mans the vessel between Ballyhack and Passage East, alerted rescue teams after a body was spotted floating in the water at around 9.20am yesterday. Mr Ennis's body was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Plans are being made for the funeral of Mr Ennis -- who is survived by his wife Mai and four daughters Martina, Anne, Aisling and Paula; and brothers Markie, Peter and Jim.

Irish Independent

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