Crowds to pay last respects to Tit Bonhomme skipper

LARGE crowds are expected today at the Co Waterford home of Michael Hayes as they pay their last respects to the skipper of the trawler Tit Bonhomme.

The body of the 52-year- old skipper was recovered on Wednesday after intensive searches were mounted in Glandore Bay since the sinking of the trawler on January 15 last. He will lie in repose at the family home at Helvick Head, Ring, from 2pm to 8pm.

His remains will be removed to nearby St Nicholas Church tomorrow morning, where requiem Mass will take place at noon. Burial afterwards will be at the local cemetery.

Members of Mr Hayes’ family, including his brother, Chief Superintendent Tom Hayes, joined many other searchers yesterday morning as they continued to look for the last missing crewman, Egyptian Saied Aly Eldin.

“We won’t be giving up on the search for Saied. We will search for as long as it takes,” said Chief Supt Hayes.

He also thanked everyone who had helped in the search so far: “I would like to particularly mention the local community who supported the family so wonderfully. They provided words of comfort and practical support in the way of accommodation and food.”

Yesterday, eight boats scoured the bay in the search for the remaining missing 24-year-old crewman.

Egyptian Abdo Mohamad, 40, was the only survivor of the crew after the trawler hit rocks at the entrance to Glandore Bay.

The bodies of Egyptian Attia Shaban, 24, and Kevin Kershaw, 21, who was originally from Dublin, were recovered four days after the sinking.

A further two days later search teams also recovered the body of father-of-two Wael Mohamad, 32.

In addition, a number of coastguard units joined in the search who were aided by Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Unit and the Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue Unit.

Inspector Collins, who is helping to co-ordinate the search for Saied Aly Eldin, said trained Garda search teams, plus a number of off-duty gardaí and Civil Defence teams, were deployed mainly on searches of the shoreline.

It was hoped his body would be recovered yesterday because spring tides had considerably lowered the waterline in the bay.

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