A huge search operation got under way on Friday morning after the popular skipper of a fishing vessel went missing in the water some miles off the Wexford Coast. Dom Sinnott (45) set sail from Rosslare Harbour on board the Ellie Adhamh at some time around 1.30 a.m. on Friday morning and it is believed he entered the water at some stage between then and 5.30 a.m. when his fellow crew members issued the mayday call.
This is the second tragedy to have struck the vessel within the space of a week. The previous Sunday, a colleague of Mr Sinnott's, Viktor Sokolovskij, lost his life when he fell between the trawler and the pier in Rosslare.
The RNLI lifeboats were left with a near impossible task to find Mr Sinnott, as it is unknown at what point he actually fell into the water. The search initially focused on a 10km area off the Wexford coast, which was being covered by air and sea in the hopes of making a discovery, but those involved have conceded that it will be incredibly difficult to find the 45 year-old.
The search began in earnest straight after the mayday call went out on Friday morning, with the vessel some 20km off the Saltee islands. It came to a conclusion at around 9 p.m. on Friday night before resuming to an even larger extent on Saturday morning with local fishing vessels also joining in the search.
Rosslare and Kilmore Lifeboats split up and covered areas of around 64 square miles, but neither they nor the helicopters circling above found anything that would give any hope.
The search was scaled back yesterday as the odds of finding Mr Sinnott decreased even further.
Gardaí took statements from his crewmates, however, they've said that there appears to be nothing suspicious and that they are treating the matter as a personal tragedy.
It is expected that the search will resume, in some form, around day eight or nine.
Meanwhile, tributes have poured in on social media for Dom who is a first cousin on long time missing person Fiona Sinnott. 'The world is a lot less full of laughs and light without mighty characters like yourself,' one post to his page said.
He was described as a fun-loving character who always brought a smile to the faces of those around him.
'It's a tragedy of unspeakable proportions,' said local councillor Ger Carthy.
'This is not the first tragedy the family have had either. I think Dom's father drowned in Kilmore one Christmas Eve. Obviously the thoughts and prayers of the local community are with the family and, despite the fact that it's an enormously difficult task, we hope the search operation can be a success.'