Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Body found in search for fisherman

RNLI and Coast Guard crews had searched for a missing fisherman last seen rowing near the Mace Head area of Co Galway
RNLI and Coast Guard crews had searched for a missing fisherman last seen rowing near the Mace Head area of Co Galway

A body has been recovered in the search for a fisherman missing from his currach off Connemara.

Gerry Folan, 43, was last seen rowing his 18ft boat off Mace Head at about 5pm on Monday.

The experienced lobster fisherman and father-of-four had gone out alone and a major air and sea search was launched.

The currach was discovered just north of Inis Mor.

The Irish Coast Guard said a body was found on St Macdara's island by a local man at around midday. The location is a few miles from where Mr Folan was last seen.

Mr Folan, a fisherman and keen sailor from the Mace Head area near Carna in Connemara, had been involved in the dramatic attempted rescue of two brothers in Galway Bay three years ago.

He jumped into the sea to try to rescue renowned sailor Johnny Sheain Jeaic MacDonncha who drowned after his traditional hooker was hit by a strong gust of wind on 5 September 2009. His brother, Josie Sheain Jeaic MacDonncha, 66, was pulled from the water.

Both the Sligo and Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopters were involved in the overnight operation which resumed at first light. The Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft was also searching the area, with the Aran Islands RNLI and Coast Guard crew from Costello Bay rejoining search teams.

Valencia Coast Guard is co-ordinating the operation. A RNLI spokeswoman said conditions for searching overnight were good, with a slight swell.

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