Boat recovered in Lough Ree search

Published Tuesday, 01 April 2014
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Teams searching for a Co Armagh man in Lough Ree, Co Westmeath, have found the boat which he and two others were travelling in when it capsized almost a fortnight ago.

Boat recovered in Lough Ree search
Lough Ree sub-aqua club divers located the fishing boat on Monday. (© UTV)

Divers discovered the 15ft Dell Quay Dory flat-bottomed vessel in the Yew Point area off the west shore of the lake on Monday evening at around 7pm.

Crews are still searching for 30-year-old Daryl Burke from Portadown, who was fishing with two others when they fell into the water on the lough near Athlone, on the afternoon of Thursday 20 March.

Damien Delaney, from Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: "The boat was found at 7pm by a team of divers from Lough Ree sub-aqua club, it was up to the south-west of Yew Point in an area called Ballybay.

"That was our hope every day when we went out, that we would find the boat and the man, Daryl Burke," he added.

"Every day you go out, you go out hoping that this will be the day, but after 10 days this has been a major boost that at least we were looking in the right place, it's just we haven't found him.

"It's been very good news for us all because it now gives us some sort of a focus to work from, the search will resume this morning again. It's given us a new confidence this morning."

Dara O'Malley-Daly is station officer in Malin Head Coast Guard which is overseeing the continued search.

He said that gardaí and naval divers would retrieve the boat from the water when visibility improves.

"It has been a big search, it's been going on for quite some time and it's a long wait for the family," he said.

He explained that the search for Mr Burke will be focused in the Ballybay area on Tuesday.

"The visibility in the lake is very poor, sometimes it's down to maybe half a metre, so the fact that we actually located the boat after this length of time, that'll put a big emphasis on the search today," he continued.

"Once you actually locate the boat you can scale down the search area and concentrate in that area, the effort will continue on this week and we basically are intent on finding the missing angler and returning him back to his family in Armagh."

David Warnock, 27 and from Richhill, died after being rescued from the water. A third man, in his 60s, is recovering in hospital having been in a critical condition.

It is understood they intended to camp in the Carnagh Bay area for the weekend and fish on the lake.

The trio had set off for Carnagh from Hodson Bay and were part of a group from a Co Armagh angling club, who had travelled to the area, but had got into difficulty in the poor conditions.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
M Rosson in Belfast wrote (300 days ago):
I pray that the body of this young man be found today and a thank you to all who have took part in the search what a great service you provide for all
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