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Body of man who went missing on fishing trip found in river

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Accident: Bernard Geasley

Accident: Bernard Geasley

Accident: Bernard Geasley

Emergency services searching for a man who vanished in a Cork river recovered a body after a major overnight operation.

The man, named locally as Bernard Geasley (38), got into difficulties in the River Lee by the Regional Park in Ballincollig at around 8pm on Sunday.

Mr Geasley was from the Innishmore estate in Ballincollig and regularly visited the riverside complex.

He is understood to have been fishing with a number of friends by the Regional Park when he entered the water. It is unclear if he decided to go for a swim or was attempting to free a snagged fishing line when he entered deeper waters and was forced to attempt to return to the bank.

Rivers in the area are quite swollen because of recent heavy rainfall.

Mr Geasley suddenly vanished beneath the water surface and failed to reappear.

His friends desperately tried to reach him and, when there was no sign of him reaching the surface, they raced to raise the alarm.

The area is very popular with swimmers, as well as walkers and families with children.

Large numbers of locals use the area for picnics.

A major search operation was launched, supported by gardaí, Cork Fire Brigade and volunteer Cork river rescue units.

Shortly before 2am yesterday, Mallow River Rescue officials located a body submerged a short distance from where Mr Geasley had ­vanished.

Rescue officials said parts of the river were notorious for strong currents, submerged obstacles such as tree branches, and even deep holes in the riverbed which are carved during periods of flooding. 

Mr Geasley was pronounced dead at the scene and was taken to Cork University ­Hospital.

The Office of the State Pathologist was informed and a post-mortem examination is scheduled to take place.

Gardaí said they were treating the incident as a tragic accident. A file will be prepared for a coroner's inquest.

Water Safety Ireland had issued a major warning for people to exercise care near lakes, rivers, streams and sea areas over the August bank holiday weekend, given the likelihood of spells of ­sunshine.

Irish Independent