Friday 24 January 2020

Fisherman washed into the sea in Co Clare

By Pat Flynn

A search will resume tomorrow morning for a fisherman who was washed off rocks into the sea today.

The 42-year-old man, believed to be a Latvian national living in Co Roscommon, was washed off the rocks by a rogue wave at an area known locally as the Fisherman's Climb at Ailladee in Co Clare.


The same area, on the Atlantic coast between Doolin and Fanore, has been the scene of several previous tragedies.


The man's car was found nearby while some personnel items were also discovered close to where he was fishing.


The alarm was raised at about 5.30pm by one of the man's two friends. One of the men jumped into the water in an effort to save his friend however he returned to the shore after he was almost dragged beneath the waves.


The Irish Coast Guard marine rescue coordination centre on Valentia Island in Co Kerry mounted and coordinated the search operation.


The Doolin unit of the Coast Guard along with gardaí went to the scene. Conditions in the area at the time were rough with a heavy mist hampering visibility at times.


It's understood that man was not wearing a lifejacket and may have been dragged beneath the waves by his heavy clothing.


The recovery effort was abandoned as darkness fell but was due to resume at first light tomorrow. A shore team is expected to search the coastline however conditions are expected to hamper any sea search.


Naval divers are also expected to arrive in Clare to assist in the search.


Gardaí are understood to know the man's identity and are currently attempting to contact his family. The man is believed to be living in the Lanesborough area of on the Longford/Roscommon border.


The area where the latest accident occurred has been the scene of several tragedies in the past.


In July 2009, a 42 year old French man who had also been living in Co Offaly, died after he fell from the rocks while fishing at Ballyreen. That incident occurred in front of the victim's family.


In November of the same year, in an almost identical incident, a 34-year-old man fell to his death while fishing at the same spot.


The tragic accident happened in front of his wife, 10 year old daughter and a family friend who were later treated in hospital for shock and hypothermia.




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