Monday 22 January 2018

Fisherman drowns after losing footing on wet rocks

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A FISHERMAN who drowned after falling into the sea while rock angling in Kerry lost his footing when he accidentally stepped on to wet seaweed.

Divers yesterday recovered the body of the 32-year-old Kilkenny-based angler Chris Murphy in waters just off Valentia Island.

The discovery was made shortly before 1.20pm yesterday by a volunteer Kerry dive team.

The man's body was recovered just over an hour before garda and naval service divers were to begin operations in support of the Irish Coastguard search.

The man -- who had travelled to Kerry with a south-eastern angling club -- slipped and fell into the sea while fishing at Culloo Rock on the northern edge of Valentia Island at 10.30 on Thursday evening.

He was angling with six friends.

Tragically, he couldn't clamber back on to the rocks and vanished beneath the waves before his friends could reach him.

His body was found in the sea just off Valentia at lunchtime yesterday and less than 1km from where he fell in.

Four other anglers have drowned in the area over recent years after falling or being swept from rocks.

Irish Coastguard official John Draper confirmed it was local divers who recovered the remains.

"The naval service and garda divers were due to arrive down at 3pm but, in the interim, local divers conducted search operations," he said. "Just about an hour into their dive they recovered the casualty." .

Irish Independent

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