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Search under way as man lost from trawler

ANOTHER sea tragedy appeared to be unfolding off the east coast yesterday as a fishing trawler reported a man had been lost overboard.

A mammoth Coast Guard search operation got under way after the skipper of the 'Zenith', which fishes prawns out of its home port of Kilkeel, Co Down, called for help in locating the man.

The fishing vessel ws nine miles east of Clogherhead, Co Louth, when the man, who was a foreign national in his 30s, went missing. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter 116 was immediately dispatched from Dublin after the call was received just after 1pm.

Volunteers aboard the Clogher Head lifeboat moved to co-ordinate the search of the area, and a crew on board an RNLI lifeboat also joined in.

The fishing community also moved to help, with six local vessels combing the waters.

Initially, searchers were helped by clear visibility in the area, but weather conditions worsened in the afternoon before the search was called off as darkness fell. It will resume at 8am today.

The Coast Guard reported seas were choppy at the time the man went overboard from the twin rig trawler, with winds of force six to seven and three-metre swells.

Irish Independent