Belfast Telegraph

Missing fisherman's body found

The body of a fisherman missing at sea has been recovered by Coast Guard crews.

The operation was launched when the victim left Soldiers Point, Dundalk, in a small flat bottomed punt vessel at 3.45pm on Sunday and did not return.

The man - named locally as Stephen Fergus - was recovered at the entrance to Dundalk Bay shortly after 6pm.

The married father-of-two was a caretaker for Dundalk Town Council and worked in Country Hall.

Marianne Butler, Cathaoirleach of Dundalk Town Council, paid tribute to the 48-year-old. "He was an absolutely lovely man," she said.

"When we had meetings in the evening he would be behind the desk and he would always say hello. It's a real shock."

The Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre Dublin tasked a number of units to help in the search including crews from Clogherhead, Greenore, Kilkeel and the Coast Guard helicopter from Dublin.

A spokeswoman said the weather in the area was calm at the time. "The body of the missing person was located and has now been brought to the marina in Dundalk by Greenore and Kilkeel Coast Guard Units," she added.

A Garda spokesman said the death is being treated as a tragic drowning.

Separately, the Dublin-based Coast Guard Helicopter airlifted a young person who was injured in a riding accident in Donard, Co Wicklow. The patient was taken to Tallaght Hospital.

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