Belfast Telegraph

Angler missing on lough

Two others seriously ill after boating accident in Republic

By Rebecca Black

An angler from Northern Ireland is missing after a boating accident on Lough Ree in the Republic.

The man, believed to be 30-years-old, was one of three men from Armagh who had set off from Athlone in a boat yesterday.

Two men aged 27 and 60, who were rescued by a RNLI lifeboat, were last night in a critical condition in hospital.

It is believed the three were pike anglers from a club in Armagh and had intended to spend the night camping on an island in Lough Ree.

The Irish Air Corps and RNLI started a search for the group at 3.20pm yesterday.

One of the men was recovered from the water at around 4pm, while the second was found at 5.15pm.

However, the third man still had not been found by the time the search was called off last night.

Conditions on the lake yesterday were described as windy. The boat is thought to have capsized in rough weather.

Local man Dave McEnroe told RTE News: "They were three lovely fellas down for a few days fishing out on the lake here and they told me they were heading out doing a bit of pike fishing. The weather wasn't great at the time."

The Irish Coastguard helicopter remained in action until late using specialist heat seeking equipment in a bid to detect the missing man.

The pair who were rescued remain in hospital at Ballinasloe, Co Galway, where one is believed to be suffering from hypothermia while the second has been described as seriously ill.

The search for the missing man was due to resume this morning at first light.

It is understood the three anglers may have got into difficulties just north of Hodson Bay.

Derry McMahon of Athlone Sub Aqua described conditions as "very rough" with a strong westerly wind.

"We started searching areas downwind from the initial search area and followed the debris footprint," he explained.

"The helicopter was picking out the debris field."

Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Damien Delaney said: "This was a major search and rescue operation on Lough Ree involving the RNLI, Coastguard, Athlone Sub Aqua, Lanesborough Sub Aqua, and other local boats."

Martin McEnroe, vice-chairman of the Angling Council of Ireland, said: "There was a yellow gale warning out from the Met Office. Lough Ree is a serious lake. It's very open. We would not attempt to go out on a day like today. We would know the lake and we would understand it."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph