Cork fisherman’s body recovered

Photo: Dan Linehan

Two separate investigations are under way after the body of a man who failed to return from a fishing trip was recovered off the Cork coast yesterday.

The body of Michael O’Brien, who was in his late 60s, a native of Ballydehob in West Cork, was spotted floating in Goleen Bay, close to an area known locally as Amsterdam Rocks, at around 11am by the crew of a local fishing vessel.

This was about six miles west of where his 18-ft boat was found drifting near Goat Island at around 8.15pm on Monday.

The body was recovered by the crew of the Schull Community Inshore Rescue Boat just before 12 noon. Tragically, Mr O’Brien had close family connections to a member of the volunteer rescue unit. They brought his body back to Schull before it was removed to Cork University Hospital where a post mortem is expected to take place to establish the exact cause of death.

Gardaí and the Marine Casualty Investigation Board are investigating the circumstances of the tragedy.

A keen recreational fisherman, Mr O’Brien was last seen at around 2pm on Monday when he set off alone in his vessel for a short mackerel fishing trip. The alarm was raised at around 7.30pm by family members when he failed to return to Schull as planned.

The Irish Coast Guard launched a major sea search operation which was suspended at around 1am. The Irish naval vessel, the LÉ Orla, under Lt Cmdr Philip Dicker, acted as on-scene coordinator as the search resumed at around 5.30am yesterday. Coast Guard ground units, the RNLI and civil defence teams from Goleen, Toe Head and Castletownbere conducted shoreline searches of the rugged coastline as several local vessels supported RNLI and coast guard boats on the water as they scoured the area.

Their efforts resulted in the recovery of Mr O’Brien’s body just after 11am.

Weather conditions on Monday were described as favourable, with similar weather conditions reported again yesterday morning.


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