CCTV footage released in search for missing Japanese tourists
Gardai have released CCTV footage of the two Japanese tourists who went missing in Kilkee, Co Clare.
The attached images show the couple getting ready to leave a local bar in the area before their disappearance.
Search operations had to be called off yesterday evening due to bad weather conditions but resumed this morning.
A member of the Kilkee Coast Guard told Independent.ie that the weather has improved today .
"There is a major search ongoing," Martony Vaughan said.
"It's showery and the sea is still quite choppy but there's an improvement and it's set to get better over the next day or two," he said.
He confirmed that the search is ongoing with the involvement of the Rescue 115 helicopter, Ballybunion and Doolin Coast Guard units, coordinated with Kilkee CG unit in conjunction with MRFC Valentia.
He added that Clare Civil Defence have now joined in the search.
"There's no point in surmising or speculating but from our position we're doing everything we can and we're treating it as a missing persons case.
"We've pumped major resources into this so far and will continue to over the next few days and in the future," he said.
Meanwhile gardai are appealing to the public for any information they may have and said they are now 'very concerned' about the missing pair.
They have been named as male American and Japanese national Eiji Takagi (63) and female Japanese national Ushio Azaki (61).
Gardai report them to have checked out of hotel accommodation in Spanish Point, Co Clare on Saturday morning.
A hired car they were using was found parked in a car park at Georges Head car park, Kilkee. Co Clare.
The car was reported by a member of the public to have been parked at the same location since Saturday, August 22.
The couple were due to take a flight from Shannon Airport on Monday via Heathrow Airport for onward connection to Tokyo, Japan but failed to show up for this flight.
It is understood the couple were last seen in a local hotel on Saturday evening but this cannot be confirmed.
Meanwhile, retired head and founder of the Kilkee Marine Rescue Service, Manuel di Lucia, said that it was he who contacted the gardai in relation to the couple's abandoned car.
A friend of his takes a daily swim at Byrne's Cove and noticed that a 151-D Hyundai i10 had not moved from its parking space for two days.
"He rang me and I in turn alerted the gardai in Kilrush," di Lucia told Independent.ie.
Di Lucia said that helicopter searches have been taking place over land and sea in the KIlkee area, and the lifeboat was launched last night to join in the search.