Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Navy joins search for fishermen

Coast Guard personnel and Gardai inspect the 17ft Lady Linda

Naval patrol vessel Le Emer has arrived to co-ordinate the search for two fishermen missing in the Irish Sea.

A major operation is in its fifth day to find newlywed Ronan Browne and David Gilsenan, who vanished on Friday when fishing for lobster off Skerries, north Dublin.

A team of Navy divers joined the search on Monday to support garda divers, as well as the Coast Guard, volunteer lifeboat crews and local fishing vessels. They will be backed-up by another specialist Naval dive unit from Le Emer for a search around the islands off Skerries.

Dozens of local trawlermen have spent the last five days scanning the vast sea area from Howth to Carlingford for any sign of the missing men, who are feared drowned.

Devastated family members and friends have also joined in a coastal land search for the missing men, combing inlets and bays. Small items of clothing belonging to the men were discovered on Sunday morning on land at Braymore point, north of Skerries, according to the Irish Coast Guard.

A Coast Guard unit from Newcastle, Co Down, is also due to join in the search along the eastern Northern Ireland coastline.

Weather conditions along the coastline were said to be better than recent days, with good visibility and moderate winds.

An account has been opened at the Bank of Ireland branch in the town in the name of Lady Linda - the name of the boat the men were fishing from - to accept donations.

Mr Browne, 26, and his wife of six months Linda live in Skerries. Mr Gilsenan, 41, and his wife Suzanne have two young children, aged six and nine, and live in the nearby village of Rush. Both were qualified marine engineers and experienced fishermen.

Rescue crews believe their 17ft open-top fishing boat capsized in bad weather off the Skerries Islands on Friday before drifting in high winds and swells. It was located overturned five miles south-east of Clogherhead 24 hours later - 12 miles north from where debris from the boat was recovered.

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