Belfast Telegraph

Body washed up on shore is tragic Polish fisherman Jaroslaw Andrykiewicz

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

A bodyfound washed up on a shore has been confirmed as that of a Polish man who was swept off rocks in Portrush last month, police have said.

Father-of-one Jaroslaw Andrykiewicz, was found on the strand in Carnlough, Co Antrim, on Friday.

The 38-year-old who had been living in Moy, near Dungannon, moved here six years ago from his home near the city of Bydgoszcz in Poland.

Mr Andrykiewicz had been fishing off the rocks with friends at Ramore Head, Portrush, on Saturday, September 14, when he was swept in to the sea.

A Polish national friend of the divorced man had tried in vain to rescue him.

A massive search operation was launched involving Portrush lifeboats, Coleraine and Ballycastle coastguard teams, a police helicopter, as well as an Irish coastguard helicopter, but to no avail. The search conditions were made difficult by gale force winds and very rough seas, with the harsh conditions often forcing the operation to come to a halt.

But at the beginning of October, rescuers declared that they had given up hope of finding the man as they confirmed the search mission had been wound up. It emerged that less than a week before the man was tragically swept away, Mr Andrykiewicz had been promoted to a new supervisory role in his job at Gilfresh Produce in Loughhall, Co Armagh.

Edna Lynas, deputy general manager at Gilfresh Produce, said colleagues and management "thought the world" of Mr Andrykiewicz and his boss, William Gilpin, described him as an "outstanding employee".

The 38-year-old's devastated mother Irene and brother had travelled from Poland when they learned he had gone missing.

At one point during the lengthy search, his mother made the agonising journey to the place where her son was last seen.

She stood with her hands clasped as she watched the Coastguard conduct a thorough search of the surrounding area.

His mother told of her desperation to recover her son's body so his remains could be returned to Poland, where Mr Andrykiewicz's father and 15-year-old daughter Julia, waited on news of their loved one.

QUOTES

"This was a very wonderful young man who was hard-working and, I'm told, he was an extremely happy, optimistic and smiling chap who had loads of friends and was very popular among his compatriots. His friends have described him as a fun-loving character who loved life, football and was passionate about fishing."

Honorary Consul for Poland in Northern Ireland, Jerome Mullen

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