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Monday 19 March 2018

Trawler tragedy: Kevin (21) is second body found

Egyptian colleagues follow the hearse containing the body of crew member Attia Shaban at the pier at Union Hall in west Cork
Kevin Kershaw
Mary O'Driscoll, cousin of missing Kevin Kershaw, lights candles for him on Union Hall pier yesterday as the search for victims of the trawler tragedy continues
Abigail, the younger sister of missing Kevin Kershaw, lights candles for him on Union Hall pier yesterday
Naval and garda divers at the wreck site reporters and Ed Carty

THE BODY of Kevin Kershaw (21) who was on his first ever fishing trip, was recovered this afternoon by divers searching for the crew members missing in the Bonhomme trawler tragedy. Earlier today the body of Egyptian, Attia Shaban, (26) was recovered.

The family of FAS trainee Kevin, originally from Tallaght in Dublin, have been keeping vigil on the quayside at Union Hall since the vessel went down in bad weather last Sunday morning.

After his body was recovered, the father of the young man, Paddy Kershaw, said he was thankful Kevin’s body had been recovered.

“We are very, very thankful we got him back for the burial and I have mixed feelings,” he said, fighting back tears.

“Our thoughts are with the families of the skipper and the two Egyptian families.”

There were emotional scenes at the quayside when the bodies were recovered.

The bodies were found as a Garda dive team continued searching the rocky seabed beside the wreck on Adam's island, west Cork.

Garda divers were still busy searching the seas for the remaining three fishermen in Glandore bay this evening.

Missing are skipper Michael Hayes, from Helvic Head where he founded a lifeboat station, and experienced Egyptian crew members from the Alexandria region, Wael Abd Elgwad and Saied Ali Eldin.

The only survivor of the weekend tragedy is Wael's brother Mohammed, who has been waiting in Union Hall with the other families.

Search coordinators have brought in a remote operated vehicle fitted with specialist camera equipment to examine the shattered wheelhouse of the boat and debris strewn around the wreckage including nets.

It was also used to inspect treacherous rocks and crevices around Adam's island near where the boat ran aground.

Weather conditions have changed significantly in the last 24-36 hours with winds shifting to the west and north-west, helping to ease the impact of Atlantic swells and make the search safer for divers.

Search teams at sea, including the specialist dive units, and on land are expected to continue throughout the day amid fears the weather will close in again tomorrow. They have yet to get divers into the wreck of the trawler.

It is understood that Mr Shaban, whose body was the first one recovered today, had been living in Ireland for about two years but it is not believed he had any relatives living with him.

Garda dive teams brought his remains ashore at the pier at Union Hall where an area had been cordoned off and a tent erected to give families, friends and the only survivor time to pay their respects.

In an emotional tribute, a large group of Egyptians, who have been in the Glandore area since the tragedy, gathered as the body was being removed and offered Muslim prayers for almost 10 minutes.

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