Search and recovery teams looking for missing Barry Davis Ryan hope that an improvement in weather conditions this week will lead to a breakthrough in their efforts.
The 20-year-old local has been missing since the triple tragedy of June 30 when he, his girlfriend Niamh O’Connor and his father, Barry Ryan, entered the water at the eastern hole area of Baltimore Harbour, West Cork, near the Beacon.
The bodies of Mr Ryan and Ms O’Connor were taken from the water by local RNLI crews shortly afterwards but died later that evening, while the search has since continued for the Cork Institute of Technology engineering student.
Deteriorating weather conditions have limited some of the diving activity, and dive searches ceased altogether yesterday afternoon and are not expected to resume until this evening at the earliest.
A spokesman for the Irish Coast Guard said the search would be stepped up significantly in the coming days with better weather expected.
A naval dive team is expected in the area today and a Garda diving crew is likely to arrive tomorrow, while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Shannon will also assist in today’s search effort.
It follows two days during which the recovery effort was limited to shoreline searches.
The search is also likely to be boosted by an appeal for experienced divers to head to Baltimore to assist those already taking part.
John Kearney of West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue said that some 40 to 50 divers are now expected in the area following a huge response to the appeal for help, with some coming from Roscommon, Louth, and Galway.
Fishermen will map out grids in the search area using leaded ropes.
The depths faced by dive crews range from 6m to 23m in places. Areas that have already been searched will have to be reviewed again as the recent weather may have caused some movement on the seabed.
Mr Kearney said that he hoped locals would now help in feeding and housing the divers visiting the area this week, many of whom have experience in search and recovery operations.
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