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Weather stalls search for Derry teen

The hunt for a 17-year-old missing in Co Donegal must today concentrate on lands near to Lough Swilly, because waters are too rough for boats to go out.

Sean McNair, 17, was last seen swimming near Rathmullan Pier
Sean McNair, 17, was last seen swimming near Rathmullan Pier
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WAVES UP TO four metres high have forced rescuers looking for a missing teen to stay on shore.

Sean McNair, from Derry, disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning when he got into difficulty while swimming with friends.  He was celebrating another friend’s 18th birthday.

Crews were on the scene within half an hour of the teenager’s disappearance, but so far there’s been no sign of him in three days of searches.

Martin Furlong is a Watch Officer with Malin Head Coast Guard.  He told TheJournal.ie that rescue teams are hoping to get back on the water tomorrow:

Weather conditions are pretty poor with north-westerly force 6 to gale force 8 winds and rough seas with four-metre-high waves, but they are due to moderate tomorrow, and the wind will turn around easterly.

The teen has now been missing for three days, and rescue teams are concentrating on recovering his body at this stage.

Martin Furlong says land searches will continue until conditions on the water improve:

The Coast Guard team at Mulroy are assembling on the western shore of Lough Swilly, at Rathmullan, to do a shore search at low water this afternoon (15.00). On the eastern shore the Greencastle Coast Guard will search lands.  Tomorrow afternoon the naval divers will be coming from Cork to conduct underwater searches, and the garda water unit will assist.

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The Coast Guard’s warning volunteers hoping to take part in searches that the area around the lake is dangerous and that mud flats make conditions unpredictable.

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