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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
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Heavy fog hampering search for fisherman swept into sea in Clare

It’s understood the man was fishing in the Pulleen Bay near Doonbeg.

Emergency services at the scene near Doonbeg in Co Clare this morning.
Emergency services at the scene near Doonbeg in Co Clare this morning.
Image: Pat Flynn

A MAJOR SEARCH is still underway after a fisherman was reported to have been swept into the sea in Co Clare on Saturday morning.

It is understood that the man, in his 40s, was fishing in the Pulleen Bay near Doonbeg.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, local journalist Pat Flynn explained that the man and his friend, both Russian nationals, were fishing at around 6.30am when he fell in.

The incident happened in a “particularly dangerous spot” where there “has been many tragedies down through the years”, according to Flynn.

“The second man attempted to rescue him and was unable to do so,” he said.

Flynn explained that the man, unaware of local surroundings, drove to Limerick to raise the alarm.

“The man panicked and drove all the way to Limerick. This has happened in the past in Clare where non-Irish nationals fishing in very dangerous areas, who have little English or no English… panic and have driven miles upon miles, passed garda stations and people on the road to raise the alarm,” he said.

“The search then was delayed by about two hours.”

Once the alarm was raised, the Irish Coast Guard dispatched Rescue 115 to the scene, along with the Kilkee and Doolin units of the Coast Guard.

Initially, the search was undertaken in a broad area because they had no specific location for where the man had fallen in.

However, gardaí “brought the second man from Limerick to the scene, he pinpointed where they had been fishing and the search had been concentrated on that particular area in the past two days”.

Killaloe Coast Guard and local diving clubs have since joined the search.

The search was expected to resume this morning at 9am, but Valentia Coast Guard told TheJournal.ie that “there is heavy coastal fog in the area so visibility is hampering the search at the moment”.

The search is being coordinated by the Valentia Coast Guard marine rescue sub-centre.

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