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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Waves blamed for death of duck-hunting father of three

Published 02/02/2016 | 02:30

Bill Topham. Picture: Kerry's Eye
Bill Topham. Picture: Kerry's Eye

Freak waves in the vanguard of Storm Henry are being blamed for swamping the boat of Kerry plumber Bill Topham (53) as he went duck hunting with a friend on Sunday afternoon.

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Mr Topham, who was deeply involved in charitable and community causes in Kenmare and south Kerry, had gone out with a friend in a Canadian canoe.

The friends were travelling from Templenoe in Kenmare Bay towards an offshore island for a duck-hunting expedition in seemingly placid conditions.

However, the canoe was capsized by a giant wave and both men were thrown into the freezing waters.

One managed to swim to Kelly's Island and raise the alarm. However, Mr Topham was unable to make it to safety and is believed to have drowned.

A major search by the Irish Coastguard and RNLI was launched on Sunday and recommenced yesterday morning.

The body of the father of three was recovered by naval divers near Templenoe Pier, not far from where the canoe capsized.

Irish Independent

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