Belfast Telegraph

Body found in hunt for fisherman

Divers searching for an angler who fell into the sea off Valentia Island have recovered a body.

It is understood the fisherman is a 32-year-old from Kilkenny. The Coast Guard is informing his family.

Navy dive teams found the body at around 12.45pm on Friday. The man was among a party of seven fishing at Culloo Rock on the north side of the island in Co Kerry when he slipped and fell into the Atlantic Thursday night.

"The body of a man was recovered this afternoon," said a Valentia Coast Guard spokesman. "It is understood the man was 32 and from Kilkenny. His name is known to us but his whole family may not have been informed yet."

Efforts were made to save the angler when he fell at around 10.30pm on Thursday but he disappeared after 10 minutes in the sea. It is understood sea conditions were calm at the time of the accident.

Valentia Lifeboat Station attended the scene and searched the area until 3am. Shannon and Waterford Coast Guard helicopters also took part in the operation.

The search resumed on Friday at 6am. Knightstown Coast Guard joined the search and Navy dive teams were deployed early in the afternoon.

Valentia Lifeboat operations manager Richard Foran said the area where the fisherman fell is notorious for people losing their lives.

"It's a fantastic fishing spot but the problem is it is exposed to the Atlantic," said Mr Foran. "In bad weather conditions it can be absolutely treacherous but that was not the scenario last night. The poor man just fell in."

Earlier, a Coast Guard spokesman said weather conditions had been good enough for divers to conduct a thorough search and insisted all resources would be used to find him.

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