The stormy weather which may have swept one Dutch holidaymaker to his death and resulted in another man going missing has hampered search efforts, with galeforce winds expected to batter the West Cork coast today.
The massive search centring on missing Dutchmen Roland Deckers and Othman Rahmouni, off the coastline of Sheep’s Head — about 35km southeast of Bantry — was suspended shortly after 1pm yesterday amid safety fears.
With winds of up to violent storm force 11 or even hurricane force 12 expected today, search coordinators decided yesterday to suspend all search activity until at least 9am tomorrow.
Gale force winds up to force 11 forecast for tmrw, making full search impossible. Local volunteers thanked for their efforts @irishexaminer— Noel Baker (@noelbaker1) February 11, 2014
So far, the body of one man has been taken from the sea near the holiday home in the Cove area of Sheep’s Head, while the search resumed yesterday morning for the second man, missing since Saturday.
Since the early hours of Monday morning, search teams have combed the land and sea around the holiday home, owned by Mr Deckers’ parents.
Three units of the Coast Guard — from Goleen, Toe Head, and Castletownbere — continued the search yesterday, as did the LÉ Eithne and Castletownbere lifeboat. The Shannon rescue helicopter searched the area at 8.35am.
On land, volunteers and the Civil Defence searched the area, before co-ordinator Supt Mick Lyons announced that Valentia Coast Guard stood down the search in the afternoon.
Supt Lyons said conditions would be “treacherous” and asked civilians not to carry out searches today, adding: “Your safety is paramount.”
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