News Irish News

Monday 21 May 2018

Sea search for soldier called off for night

Searchers scan the sea for signs of the missing man. Photo:
Searchers scan the sea for signs of the missing man. Photo:

Greg Harkin and Alan O'Keeffe

A soldier is missing after he and two other soldiers got into difficulty while swimming in the sea.

A major search resumes today for the 28-year-old man off the coast of County Donegal.

Five soldiers went to Tullan Strand near Bundoran for the afternoon during time off from attending a training course at Finner Camp.

Three of the soldiers got into serious difficulty while swimming. The alarm was raised around 6pm.

Two of the soldiers were rescued but the missing man could not be found. An ambulance crew tended to one of the soldiers on the beach.

A Coastguard helicopter travelled from Sligo. The Bundoran RNLI rescue boat was quickly on the scene but a heavy swell made searching difficult for the crew of the small craft.

People assisting at the scene were joined by Fr Alan Ward, chaplain of Finner military camp.

A Malin Head Coast Guard spokesman said Bundoran RNLI and the Sligo 118 helicopter were despatched.

An RNLI spokesman said there was a high tide at the time. The search was called off as darkness fell and will resume at dawn, he said.

A Defence Forces spokesman said "Three members of the Defence Forces encountered difficulties while swimming in the Bundoran area of Donegal.

"Two of the Defence Forces members were rescued, unfortunately, one is still missing and his next of kin are being assisted by our personnel support services.

"The missing Defence Forces member was in Finner Camp attending a course but is normally based in Custume Barracks, Athlone.

"Defence Forces colleagues will assist with search efforts recommencing at 0700hrs.

"Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the missing man," he said.

The course which the soldiers were undertaking was not related to swimming or water sports.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News