Man 'swept into sea by freak wave' in Clare fishing tragedy

The victim had been fishing with another man at Castle Point near Kilkee in the west of the county when the tragedy occurred at around 2.30pm.

Man 'swept into sea by freak wave' in Clare fishing tragedy

A man has died following a fishing accident in Co Clare this afternoon.

The victim had been fishing with another man at Castle Point near Kilkee in the west of the county when the tragedy occurred at around 2.30pm.

The victim is understood to be a man in his 40s from Poland.

It is understood he was struck by a freak wave and washed into the sea. A couple parked nearby raised the alarm after they were approached by a distressed man.

Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry mounted and coordinated a multi-agency search and rescue operation.

The Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard was alerted long with the Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter. The Kilrush (Clare) RNLI lifeboat was placed on standby while another lifeboat was dispatched from Fenit in Co Kerry.

The man’s fishing companion made his way down to the rocks but was unable to help him. Conditions in the area at the time were said to be ‘rough’ with a strong onshore wind.

After arriving at the scene, the crew of Rescue 115 conducted an initial search however sight of the man had been lost by those observing from the shore.

At around 3.20pm, the helicopter crew spotted the casualty in the water about 100m from where he had fallen.

Kilkee Coast Guard volunteers leave the scene of the accident this afternoon. Pictures: Pat Flynn
Kilkee Coast Guard volunteers leave the scene of the accident this afternoon. Pictures: Pat Flynn

The helicopter winchman/paramedic was winched down to recover the man from the water. He was flown to University Hospital Limerick where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A post-mortem examination will be conducted on the man while gardaí from Kilrush will carry out an investigation into the tragedy and prepare a file for the county coroner who will hold an inquest in due course.

Gardaí have appealed to anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have witnessed the incident, to contact them on 065 9080550.

The accident happened close to where a Hungarian man died almost two years ago and where a Dublin man slipped to his death from the nearby cliffs in 2004.

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