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Monday 22 January 2018

Young fisherman's body pulled from sea


THE body of a 22-year-old Rosslare Harbour fisherman was taken from the sea yesterday after an early-morning fishing trip went horribly wrong.

The Coast Guard Rescue Services were called at 4.30am as daylight broke after a young fisherman was lost at sea, while his companion and cousin swam ashore and raised the alarm.

Derek Sinnott, of St Brendan's Estate, Rosslare Harbour, Co Wexford, lost his life when their 16ft boat leaked, capsized and sank.

In a seafaring tragedy that has left the village of Rosslare stunned, it has emerged that despite the best efforts of his fishing companion and cousin, Thomas Sinnott, also of Rosslare, to keep him afloat, he lost his grip, leaving Derek to disappear below the surface of the water.

The boat, which had been out earlier, had returned ashore, where the third member of the crew, Alan Walsh, also of Rosslare Harbour, remained ashore, as his two colleagues returned to the fishing ground.

Following several hours of searching the area, with the fall of the tide, Derek's body was found in the water close to where the boat sank at around 11am.

Thomas was taken to Wexford Hospital suffering from hypothermia.

He told family members: "We had just returned to the fishing ground when the boat began to take water. It all happened very quickly.

"The boat went over to one side and I tried to hold on to Derek. I grasped Derek by the arms, struggled to hold him, but eventually he slipped away as I lost my grasp.

"I was in the water but managed to swim ashore and raise the alarm. One minute he was there the next he was gone.

"He just went down. I was totally shocked and devastated. The water was freezing but I managed to swim ashore in my gear."

As they left Rosslare Europort only a few hours before the terrible tragedy, no one could have imagined that one of the two young fishermen would not return home alive.

One local said: "No one can articulate the dreadful thought that must be weighing on Thomas's mind -- that he left his cousin and friend behind in the sea, having made such a desperate effort to save him.

"He is suffering despair and raw grief at the moment and going through emotional torment. He will need a lot of comforting and counsel- ling to come through this terrible tragedy."

Derek is survived by his parents, Philip and Kathleen, his younger brother, Clive, and his two younger sisters, Linda and Diane.

Devastated locals had lined the seashore as the search continued throughout the early morning as the boats scoured the sea.

"It must all have happened in a split second. One minute they were fishing, the next one of them was gone. It's a desperate tragedy," said one.

A full investigation has been launched into the cause of the tragic event.

Sunday Independent

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