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Sunday 15 September 2019

Wreck of boat in tragedy washes up in Scotland

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Pat Flynn

The wrecked hull of a fishing boat that capsized off the Irish coast last month leaving one man dead has been found washed up on a Scottish island.

The wreckage of the catamaran crab boat Aisling Patrick drifted over 300km north of the scene of the April 10 tragedy off the Mayo coast, which claimed the life of John Healy (57). Two other men survived.

The three had been crab fishing 30km northwest of Eagle Island when their vessel suddenly capsized.

It is understood the fishermen managed to launch a liferaft and scramble aboard after transmitting a broken Mayday radio distress call.

The liferaft was later found by the crew of the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter after the men set off distress flares. All three were airlifted from the scene. However, father-of-three Mr Healy, from Gorthmellia, Barnatra, was later pronounced dead in hospital.

About two weeks after the tragedy, the UK Coast Guard was alerted to a capsized boat in the water some distance north of Ireland and west of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.

A Dutch warship on manoeuvres off the Western Isles spotted the upturned boat and alerted the UK authorities.

A UK Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched from Stornoway and flew over the scene in an effort to find the wreckage. It was later confirmed that the upturned hull was similar to that of the Aisling Patrick.

The wreckage has since washed ashore near Drimsdale on South Uist, the second largest of the Outer Hebrides islands. The local Coast Guard team secured the wreck to ensure it doesn't drift back out to sea and become a danger to shipping.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board here has also been informed of the find. It has yet to be confirmed if the wreckage will be returned to Ireland for examination.

Irish Independent

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