Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Families visit trawler tragedy site

Missing trawler man Kevin Kershaw's mother Margaret looks out to sea where her son was lost
Missing trawler man Michael Hayes' brother Chief Supt Tom Hayes, centre, arrives at the pier at Union Hall in West Cork

The families of two men feared drowned in the Tit Bonhomme trawler tragedy off Cork have lit candles and dropped flower petals into the sea in a heart-wrenching visit to the crash site.

Paddy Kershaw, who lost his eldest son Kevin, 21, and Caitlin Ni Aodha, the wife of experienced skipper Michael Hayes, made the trip to the edge of an exclusion zone in the sea off Adam's Island.

The grieving families could see the top of the wheel house of the sunken fishing boat where it is feared the bodies of the men remain.

As respects were paid, friends of the three missing Egyptian fishermen continued to press the Navy to send a dive team on to the wreck despite worsening Atlantic swells.

"He was an absolute diamond. I can't put it in any other words," Mr Kershaw said of his son.

"Everywhere he went he made an impact. He was very involved in the community down here and if you met Kevin he always went out of his way to make people happy. He had that glow about him that if you met him you'd never forget him.

"Anyone who ever met Kevin said he always had a positive attitude in life and would go out of his way to help them and he had such an atmosphere about him."

Ms Ni Aodha, spokeswoman for the Irish Fishermen's Organisation, was held tightly by relatives as they looked at debris strewn around the crash site.

The Tit Bonhomme went down at about 6am on Sunday at Adam's Island at the entrance to Glandore Bay in an area known for treacherous currents and dangerous rocks.

Naval dive team leader Lieutenant Conor Kirwan has refused to sanction a dive on the wreck amid fears for people's safety.

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