15 December 2005

Ireland: Rescue diver's body found

The body of a diver, lost while searching for the missing crew of a sunken fishing vessel off Ireland, has been found.

Billy O'Connor was one of two volunteer divers who entered the sea off County Wexford in rough conditions on 1 December, in search of crew lost two days earlier when the fishing boat Rising Sun sank.

Of the fishing boat's crew of three, two went missing. The body of crewman Jimmy Meyler was recovered shortly after the sinking, but that of skipper Pat Colfer has not been found. The third crewman survived and has been recovering in hospital.

O'Connor went missing while ascending with his buddy from a 50m dive to examine the wreck. A former chairman of Hook Sub-Aqua Club, O'Connor was a highly able diver of some 20 years' experience, and a veteran of many search and rescue operations.

Air and sea searches, interrupted sporadically by bad weather, continued for both O'Connor and Colfer, navy divers finally recovering O'Connor from the vicinity of the wreck on 12 December, following location of his body by ROV video.

Searches continue in the hope of locating Pat Colfer. They include seabed operations by ROV and navy divers, surface searches by a naval vessel and lifeboats, and shoreline combing by Coastguard volunteers.

Source: www.divernet.com/news/stories


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