Belfast Telegraph

Missing fishermen feared drowned

Tributes have been paid to two missing fishermen who are feared drowned in the Irish Sea.

Friends Ronan Browne, 25, and David Gilsenan, 41, vanished after leaving Skerries harbour in north Dublin in their 17ft open-top fishing boat at about 11am on Friday.

A similar-sized boat was located overturned five miles south-east of Clogherhead 24 hours later and has been towed to the port for identification and technical examination.

Mr Browne, who married his wife Linda in September, and Mr Gilsenan, a father-of-two who is married to Suzanne, are experienced seamen. Both are qualified marine engineers who lived locally in the fishing town.

Their wives, flanked by family, close friends and stunned members of the close-knit fishing community, have remained at the pier for any news from the huge search operation.

Friends of Mr Browne said he had been reared on boats, fishing locally before he became a marine engineer who worked on factory-size fishing vessels.

"He was the kind of person who would do anything for you, he was very generous with his time," said one. "A very skilled seaman and a very popular fella."

Aisling McGuinness described Mr Gilsenan, a friend for several years, as a hard-working family man. "He was a brilliant dad and a good family man who worked hard," she said.

"It's so sombre here, everyone is stunned and shocked. We still can't believe it."

The search for the two men was suspended as weather conditions deteriorated and is due to resume at first light.

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