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Conditions hamper search operation off west Cork coast

The search operation for five men missing off the coast of Union Hall will continue today.

Trawlers and small boats took part in the search off the coast of Union Hall in west Cork yesterday.
Trawlers and small boats took part in the search off the coast of Union Hall in west Cork yesterday.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE likely to hamper efforts in the search operation for five men missing off the west coast of Cork after their trawler sank over the weekend.

Rescuers have been searching for the five men, named by RTÉ as Michael Hayes, 52, student Kevin Kershaw, 21, and Egyptians Wael Mohammed, Saied Ali Eldin and Attia Shaban, who went missing after their fishing trawler – the Tit Bonhomme - sank on Sunday morning.

At this stage it is now a recovery operation the Valentia Coast Guard confirmed with a spokesperson telling TheJournal.ie this morning that conditions are “disimproving” as the day goes on according to the latest forecasts in the Union Hall area.

“There’s more of a swell there so it’s unlikely there’ll be divers. But we’re assessing it that and the coast guard and life boat units will be out at first light,” the spokesperson said.

The Defence Forces’ Naval Service issued a statement yesterday after treacherous conditions hampered search efforts.

The Navy vessel the LE Niamh, which is involved in the operation, remained on station yesterday due to the conditions:

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“The Naval Service are deeply conscious of the families and friends of the missing men and the wider fishing community and will commence diving operations on the Tit Bonhomme as soon as safe diving conditions prevail in the immediate vicinity,” a statement said.

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Hugh O'Connell

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