Copter hunt for missing sailor

A MAJOR air-sea search is underway off the south-west coast for a crewman from a Spanish trawler who fell overboard in heavy seas.

The man, believed to be Spanish, was reported missing shortly before 5am when the vessel was some 40km off the Mizen peninsula in west Cork.

Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky helicopter attended, supported by Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat and a Naval Service vessel.

It is unclear what time the crewman was swept overboard so the search area involved is understood to be quite extensive.

Men sentenced while on the run

A man who is currently on the run has been sentenced to four years in prison for a vicious assault on his former partner.

The 53-year-old, who cannot be named, fled during his trial last month before a jury convicted him of assault causing harm. The jury failed to reach a verdict on another count of raping the woman with a carrot.

Two warrants have now being issued for his arrest, one for the assault conviction and one so he can face a retrial on the rape charge.

Shark attacks hit peak in US

Shark attacks in the US reached their highest level in a decade last year, scholars revealed today.

The University of Florida's International Shark Attack File says the US experienced 53 attacks in 2012, the most since 2000.

Florida led the US with 26 attacks. Hawaii had 10 attacks, followed by California and South Carolina with five each, North Carolina with two and one each in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico. One attack in California was fatal.