Saturday 25 January 2020

Emergency services recover body in search for missing swimmer in Galway

Denise Calnan and Kyle Ewald

The body of a man has been recovered in the search for a missing swimmer off the coast of Galway.

The search for the missing man resumed in Salthill at first light by volunteers from Costelloe Bay Coastguard, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter R115 and Galway Bay RNLI.

A body was spotted on the seabed in shallow water offshore at approximately 10:15am this morning.

The body was recovered into the Galway Inshore Life boat for transfer to Galway University Hospital to facilitate identification procedures.

Emergency services said the conditions for searching at the time were "very good with excellent sub surface visibility leading to the successful search and recovery".

Search units involved included Coast Guard, RNLI, An Garda Síochána and Civil defence teams on the water and volunteer divers provide by the CFT (Irish Underwater Council), with Coast Guard shore search units working with An Garda Síochána also.

The maritime search was co-ordinated by Valentia Coast Guard Coordination Centre.

The search will now be stood down pending formal investigation.


The alarm was first raised by a member of the public at about 5pm yesterday evening. The swimmer is believed to a man in his forties from the Galway area.

Councillor Peter Keane of Galway City West told this morning the incident "has shaken the community", but he commended the "incredibly quick" response by all emergency service units.

Cllr Keane said: "We don’t know exactly what happened to him... but I do know this is unusual."

"We have a fantastic community, with very safe waters for bathing and swimming. It has become quite popular to swim from Blackrock to Salthill, so it’s not unusual to see long-distance swimmers."

Cllr Keane also commended members of the public who monitored activity from the shore.

"There were so many concerned locals and members of the public out on the beach yesterday," he added.

"The community has been very shaken. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends."

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