Monday 23 April 2018

Dead fisherman (27) named as David Warnock and search for missing father-of-three ends for the night

Garda Search and Rescue at Lough Ree, Hodson Bay this morning still searching for missing Fisherman. Photo: molloyphotography
Garda Search and Rescue at Lough Ree, Hodson Bay this morning still searching for missing Fisherman. Photo: molloyphotography
Members of Athlone Sub Aqua Club offloading the three fishermen's equipment and belongings found out on the lough. Photo: molloyphotography
The scene on the shore of Hodson Bay at Lough Ree. Photo: molloyphotography

Eoghan MacConnell

A LARGE search operation has wound down tonight on Lough Ree in the Midlands where a fisherman is missing, another has lost his life, and a third is in hospital after their boat capsized yesterday.

The three anglers are members of a fishing club based in Portadown, Co Armagh who had set off on an angling trip from Hodson Bay in Co Roscommon yesterday afternoon.

The men departed in two Dory boats but the crew of one of the boats returned and expressed concerns about the men in the second vessel. 

A RNLI Lifeboat recovered one man in the water a short time later.

The 60-year-old, who was understood to have been conscious at the time, was brought to Hodson Bay before being transferred to Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

A second man was then recovered some 300 meters away from where the first casualty was located.

The 27-year-old, who was unresponsive when brought to shore, has since passed away. He has been named locally as David Warnock from Armagh. 

Friends and family members of the fishermen who travelled from Armagh to Hodson Bay were too upset to comment when approached this morning.  

The 30-year-old missing man is believed to be a married father of three young children from Armagh. 

Members of the RNLI, a number of sub aqua clubs, the coastguard helicopter, local anglers and members of the Garda Sub Aqua Unit began trawling the lake in search of the missing man this morning.

While the searchers haven't yet discovered the missing boat, a number of items including fishing gear was recovered in this morning's search.

Local people have been assisting in the search by walking the shoreline. 

Local Cllr Kevin 'Boxer' Moran was out with local angling clubs searching the lake this morning. "There was about 15 boats in total covering the area," he explained.

"Conditions when you are on the leinster side is very dangerous even at the present time, wind is very heavy up there and it is extremely cold," he remarked.

"The RNLI are up there and Athlone Sub Aqua are up there and they are covering in and around Slate Rock where the accident took place. We are all working together," he said.

Fr John Cullen from Kiltoom Parish said there was "huge shock" in the area.

The mood contrasts sharply with the summer when crowds gathered to enjoy the waterside, he said.

He said parishioners gathered this morning in solidarity with the families.

"Though they are visitors here, they are not alone. We wanted to expressed our concern and support and that our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time," Fr Cullen commented.

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