Sunday 9 December 2018

Local crews involved in tragic search for Elisha

Elisha Gault
Elisha Gault

Enniscorthy volunteers from Slaney Search & Rescue played their part in what was a grim day on the banks of the River Suir on Sunday, sadly culminating in the discovery of the body of 14 year-old Elisha Gault who had been missing for eight days.

A crew of twelve volunteers made the journey down to Carrick on Suir on Sunday morning, with six divers and three boats joining up with Carrick Search & Rescue, Mallow Search & Rescue and the Civil Defence, along with the Rescue 117 helicopter to try and locate the missing teen. Elisha had last been seen on Dillon Bridge in Carrick on Shannon at around 10.15 p.m. on St Patrick's night and her heartbroken family made numerous appeals over the course of the week for her to contact her family or gardaí.

Sadly, things came to a devastating conclusion on Sunday evening as Elisha's body was located in the River, around 8km from where she was last seen. The crew from Slaney Search & Rescue were present in the river all day on Sunday and, like everyone else, were heartbroken by the discovery that evening.

'Obviously it's an unfortunate result and it's not the result that anyone wanted,' said John Byrne. 'These river searches can often be a long drawn out affair that's very difficult for the families involved. While the result is tragic, at least it will be some closure for the family and on behalf of myself and our crew, I'd like to offer our condolences to the family at this difficult time.'

The crew set out from Enniscorthy at around 7 a.m. on Sunday and were greeted by a busy scene at the riverside.

'There was a huge crowd and a huge floatilla of boats out on the river searching,' John said. 'It's a sad thing to happen anywhere, but we would always make ourselves available to help out in these circumstances. We had already put plans in place to send crews down there during the week and for the duration of the search.'

'Then on Sunday evening, the helicopter made the discovery. It just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It's always a solemn atmosphere at this type of search, but especially so when it was a girl of just 14 years of age. It's tragic.'

Enniscorthy Guardian