Thursday 24 August 2017

Skipper's family vow to find final body

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE heartbroken family of a trawler skipper whose body was recovered from the sea after four weeks said the search will continue until his missing Egyptian crew mate is found.

Father-of-five Michael Hayes (52), the skipper of the wrecked trawler 'Tit Bonhomme', was recovered on Wednesday from Glandore Bay in west Cork.

His body was recovered on the 25th day of one of the biggest search operations in Irish Coastguard history.

One man, Abdou Mohamad (40), survived the tragedy -- and four bodies have now been recovered from the sea.

Egyptian fisherman Saied aly Eldin (24) is the only member of the six-strong crew still unaccounted for.

The 'Tit Bonhomme' -- a 21-metre French-built trawler -- was wrecked after it ran on to rocks off Adam Island while steaming to port ahead of a storm at 6am on January 15.

Yesterday, members of the Hayes family put aside their own grief and took part in renewed searches of Glandore Bay for Mr Eldin's remains.

The search included Mr Hayes's brothers, Tom and Nicky, his sister, Sr Ann, and his wife, Caitlin.

Tom Hayes -- a west Cork-based Garda Chief Superintendent -- said that they are now praying that the search operation will be able to return Mr Eldin's body to his parents.

Mr Eldin's father, Mohammed Ibrahim, who is a fisherman, has maintained a vigil at Union Hall pier since January 15 for his son.

Sr Ann, said their thoughts and prayers were now with the Eldin family.

"We are very conscious of Saied's father (Mohammed) who has been on the pier with us every day. He has been waiting for the same news," she said.

"We are glad it (the body) was Michael, but yet we were feeling for their disappointment as well. Our wish is that Saied will now be found -- he must be found for his mother and father."

Irish Independent

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