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LATEST: Search continues for fisherman on Lough Ree

Friday, 21st March, 2014 11:54am

LATEST: Search continues for fisherman on Lough Ree

The search is continuing this morning for the a fisherman missing on Lough Ree. It comes after one of the two men rescued on the lake yesterday afternoon died overnight in hospital.

The 27-year-old fisherman, reported to come from Portadown Co Armagh, passed away in hospital after being brought to Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe and later transferred to Galway.

The trio are understood be part of the Portadown Pikers group from Armagh, who got into difficulty when their boat capsized in windy conditions close to Yew Point, on west shore of the lake, a half a mile from Hodson Bay.

Another Portadown man remains in a critical condition in hospital today, while the search for a missing third man resumed at 7.30am this morning on the lake, not far from Hodson Bay where the men who were part of six-strong group are thought to have been staying.

Damien Delaney, Operations Manager with the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat, explained that they are being assisted in their search this morning by the Coastguard helicopter, Athlone and Lanesboro sub-aqua clubs and around ten local angling boats, along with the Garda Water Unit.

He said they are concentrating their efforts to try and find exactly where the 15-foot Dory boat the men were travelling in sank yesterday afternoon.
A huge amount of debris has been found in an area covering over two miles by one mile, he added, saying that quite an amount of equipment and gear was discovered near the east shore of the lake close to Inchmore Island and they are combing that area today.

“Today is a very sad day with a small community affected - personally all I can do is pray,” one of the sponsors of the Portadown Pikers group, Procastangling, posted on Facebook this morning.

The trio are understood be part of a six-strong angling group from Armagh, who were regular visitors to the area. It's understood the other three members of the group came back to Hodson Bay yesterday afternoon after the other members had not showed up to a meeting point.

It’s understood the group had intended to go fishing and camping on the lake shoreline. The alarm was raised by a local man when he witnessed the group setting off for Carnagh in a 15-foot boat yesterday afternoon.  Conditions on the lake were described at the time as gusty with a force five to six wind.  

The Lough Ree RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched just after 3.20pm and came upon a man in the water at 4pm. They recovered the semi-conscious casualty onto the lifeboat and transported him to Hodson Bay where he was handed over to a waiting ambulance.

The lifeboat crew immediately returned to the scene to continue the search and located a second man in the water at 5.15pm.  

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