Coast Guard recategorise search for missing fisherman as recovery operation

Coast Guard recategorise search for missing fisherman as recovery operation
The Wexford-based 11.6 metre Scalloper "Alize" that sank off Hook Head. Pic: Tony Muldoon.

The Coast Guard has said the search for a missing fisherman off the coast of Wexford is now categorised as a recovery operation.

Rescue teams including the Naval service, RNLI and local fishing boats have battled rough seas and high winds again today in their efforts to find Willie Whelan, who went missing after the trawler he was on sank near Hook Head on Saturday night.

A Status Yellow wind warning is set to come into effect for Wexford from early tomorrow morning, and is set to last until 8pm.

Neville Murphy of Dunmore East RNLI says search crews will be keeping a close eye on conditions.

Mr Murphy said: "We are obviously observing the weather, there is a weather warning coming in tonight so we are going to have to reassess that and make a call as the crews come back in.

"We'll just have to keep an eye on the weather, there is a possibility that it may be scaled down for tomorrow."

The Coast Guard issued a statement saying it "extends its deepest sympathy to the Sinnott and Whelan families and to the wider fishing community".

The Coast Guard said: "The Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter, Kilmore Quay and Dunmore East RNLI units coordinated by LÉ CIARA conducted a search of the target area today. Shoreline searches were conducted by Fethard and Kilmore Quay Coast Guard units.

"The operation is now categorised as a Search and Recovery operation and the Coast Guard will continue to support an Garda Síochána and the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) with the ongoing search and investigation."


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