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Navy divers join search for missing fisherman off Wexford coast

The funeral of Joe Sinnott is due to take place tomorrow.
Jan 7th 2020, 5:27 PM 10,851 3

NAVAL DIVERS HAVE joined the search operation for missing fisherman Willie Whelan at Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford. 

Naval Diving Section received a request from An Garda Síochána to join the operation which was yesterday categorised as a search and recovery operation by the Irish Coast Guard. 

“The Naval Service continues to provide assistance on the operation today with the LÉ Samuel Beckett on scene. They will provide assistance throughout as required,” a Defence Forces spokesperson said. 

“The NSDS has the capability to conduct subsurface search with divers, autonomous underwater vesicle, remotely operated underwater vehicle and side scan sonar,” Irish Naval Service tweeted. 

Two men were aboard the boat when it sank on Saturday night. The alarm was raised in the form of an automatic signal being sent to the Coast Guard that the boat sank rather than an alarm raised by the individuals on the boat. 

One of the men – Joe Sinnott – was taken to University Hospital Waterford where he later died.

Willie Whelan remains missing. Rescuers are focusing on searching an area about six nautical miles south of Hook Head.

The funeral of Joe Sinnott is due to take place at St Mary’s Church Kilmore tomorrow. 

The Coast Guard initiated a search Saturday evening. RNLI crews from Kilmore Quay, Dunmore East and Fethard-on-Sea and the Coast Guard lead the search, with two rescue helicopters also involved.

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The search for the missing 41-year-old has been hindered by ongoing bad weather.

The Irish Coast Guard said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke to the director of the Coast Guard, Eugene Clonan, to thank staff and volunteers for their ongoing work in the search operation off Hook Head. 

“As the search continues, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing fisherman,” it tweeted. 

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