August 8, 2022

Search resumes for skipper of trawler missing off the Waterford coast despite weather warning

Despite the threat of strong winds and high seas throughout the day, the search for missing fisherman Willie Whelan (41) has resumed.

The decision was made to resume the search for the skipper who has been missing since his trawler got into difficulty late on Saturday off the coast of Waterford.

Joe Sinnott (65) from Kilmore, who was also on the boat when it sank, died at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) on Sunday after he was rescued from the sea. He will be laid to rest tomorrow in Kilmore.

This morning members of the Kilmore Quay lifeboat along with the naval vessel LÉ Samuel Beckett resumed the search for Willie Whelan. The Dunmore East lifeboat has just been launched and will join the search. A request for the Naval Diving Section has also been received from Gardaí.

Mr Whelan and Mr Sinnott’s boat sank as they were returning to Duncannon harbour after being out fishing for scallops.

The search continues despite a yellow weather warning being issued for the Hook Head area by Met Éireann this morning with gusts of up to 100km/h expected to hit the estuary throughout the day.

Apart from the Hook Head estuary, 16 other counties have been issued with the warning, while a marine and coastal gale warning has also been issued.

A statement from Met Éireann said: “South to southwest winds will reach gale force today on Irish coastal waters from Valentia to Malin Head to Wicklow Head and on the Irish Sea. Winds will occasionally reach strong gale force 9.”

The yellow wind warning hampering the search is in place for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo and will remain in place until 8pm this evening.

“Southerly winds will reach mean speeds of 50 to 65 km/h with occasional gusts of 90 to 100 km/h,” Met Eireann said.

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