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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Divers recover body in search for missing Wexford fisherman

The recovery operation began at 10am today.

The recovery operation took place today.
The recovery operation took place today.
Image: Irish Naval Service

A BODY HAS been recovered by divers in the search for missing fisherman William ‘Willie’ Whelan off the Wexford Coast. 

Gardaí have confirmed that navy divers took part in an operation at 10am today off the coast of Hook Head.

A spokesperson said that the divers were successful in recovering a body from the water. 

Willie Whelan, who was 41-year-old and from Saltmills, Co Wexford, disappeared after his trawler sank off Hook Head on 4 January at around 10.45pm.

He was from a well-known fishing family in Wexford. 

A body was found earlier this week, but it took until today for it to be recovered. 

A second fisherman, who died in hospital after being rescued, Joe Sinnott, 65, from Kilmore Quay, was laid to rest last week.

The two men were close friends as well as work colleagues.

The Irish navy confirmed that the recovery operation was complete just after 2pm today. 

In a statement on Twitter, the navy said: “Our thoughts are with the families at this time.”

In a later statement, the Defence Forces said its Naval Service Diving Section became involved at the request of An Garda Síochána. They helped “conduct operations at the site of Irish fishing vessel Alize which sank off Hook Head on the 4th of January”.

The statement added: “Operating from the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel ILV Granuaile with support from LÉ Samuel Beckett, naval personnel over the last two days conducted specialised surface-supplied diving operations and have this afternoon recovered a body from the wreck. The remains have been embarked onboard the LÉ Samuel Beckett and will be brought ashore later this evening.”

With reprtoing by Órla Ryan

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