Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Father joins search for trawlermen

Missing 21-year-old trawlerman Kevin Kershaw's mother Margaret (right) breaks down as she gives an interview

The father of a young man feared drowned on a trawler with four experienced fishermen believes his son's body is on board.

Paddy Kershaw joined teams on local boats searching for 21-year-old Kevin as they scoured the site of the Adam and Eve rocks near Glandore, west Cork, for a second unsuccessful day.

"I'd rather be out on the water and be out there on the site where it took place," he said.

The last time he heard from Kevin was when he was putting out to sea for his first trip on a trawler. The last text message I got was Friday at 3.30pm. I still have it in my phone. He was excited about going on the ship," he said.

"I think the bodies are in the hull of the boat, and I think myself they were asleep when they hit the rocks."

The boat is visible at low tide but Navy co-ordinators refused to allow teams into the water due to persistent two metre swells sweeping in from the south.

Lieutenant Commander Paddy Harkin, Commander of the LE Niamh, said the swells from the south were hampering efforts to get dive teams on to the wreck.

"The decision to commence an underwater search of the Tit Bonhomme and the immediate vicinity remains under constant review between myself, the Naval Dive Team Leader and the Coastguard," he said.

Kevin Kershaw, originally from Dublin but living with an aunt in Clonakilty for the last few years, had been considering a career on fishing boats.

He was on board the Tit Bonhomme with skipper Michael Hayes, the founder of the Helvic lifeboat station, when it went down about 6am on Sunday. Mr Hayes is the husband of Caitlin Ni Aodha, spokeswoman for the Irish Fishermen's Organisation and brother of Chief Superintendent Tom Hayes. Four Egyptians were also crew on the trawler - the only survivor, Mohammed Abd Elgwad, was rescued on Sunday by a Coast Guard helicopter crew after spending hours in the water before managing to scramble onto rocks.

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