Monday 22 July 2019

Garda probe launched after three bodies recovered from water off Kerry coast

Members of the Coast Guard at the scene of the tragedy. Photo/Don MacMonagle
Members of the Coast Guard at the scene of the tragedy. Photo/Don MacMonagle
30-09-18 The scene at Coonana Harbour where three fishermen were drowned on Sunday. Photograph by Don MacMonagle
Gardaí, Irish Coastguard and the local RNLI are assisting at the scene. (File Photo) Credit: Domnick Walsh

Ralph Riegel

GARDAÍ are investigating the discovery of three bodies after a suspected fishing tragedy in Kerry.

The grim discovery was made shortly after 6pm this evening on a stretch of coast just outside Cahersiveen in south Kerry.

An upturned boat was found just a short distance away - and it is feared the men may have drowned after getting into trouble offshore.

It is understood the vessel is a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB).

Gardaí, Irish Coastguard and the local RNLI are now assisting at the scene.

While details of the tragedy remain unclear, it is believed to have been a freak marine accident.

It is not known if the deceased were fishing or engaged in some other form of marine leisure activity when the tragedy occurred.

While Gardaí are still working to confirm the identities of those involved, it is believed all three are from Eastern Europe and may have been fishing.

All three bodies will be transferred to University Hospital Kerry (UHK) in Tralee for full post mortem examinations which are expected to commence tomorrow.

The Office of the State Pathologist has been informed.

The tragedy was discovered when a person out walking near Coonanna spotted when they thought was a submerged boat just a short distance offshore.

Coonanna Pier is popular with fishermen and anglers, lying to the north of Cahersiveen and just off one of the most popular stretches of the Ring of Kerry.

It is just a short walk from Ballycarbery Castle.

It was later discovered that the object jutting out of the water was a section of the RIB which had apparently capsized.

The Irish Coastguard's Shannon-based Sikorsky helicopter, Rescue 115, assisted in the major search operation launched.

The first body was recovered just a short distance offshore.

Two other bodies were recovered in the same vicinity and within roughly a 100m radius of where the partially submerged boat was discovered.

Gardaí are now trying to determine the last known movements of the men and have appealed for anyone who may have seen the men leaving the south Kerry coastline either on Friday or Saturday to contact them.

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