Sea conditions hamper Cork trawler search

Wednesday 18 January 2012 13.07
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Divers have been unable to get down to the vessel
Divers have been unable to get down to the vessel
Local volunteers are searching the shoreline
Local volunteers are searching the shoreline

The Naval Service has said it is hoped that weather conditions tomorrow will allow divers to safely examine the wreck of Tit Bonhomme.

The trawler sank in heavy seas off the Co Cork coast early on Sunday morning and five fishermen remain missing.

Poor sea conditions have again hindered divers from approaching the vessel on the seabed at Adam's island in Glandore Bay.

The navy said that diving in the current conditions was an "unacceptable risk to life".

Lieutenant Conor Kirwan said: "Conditions in the immediate vicinity of the vessel remain particularly treacherous, only the Naval and Garda Dive Teams with their extensive support should dive the Tit Bonhomme.

"We do not want to compound this tragedy with a further tragedy."

Air and sea searches, including dives at inlays and around Glandore Bay, have taken place today.

A cordon has been placed around the site of the wreck to prevent any unauthorised people from diving at the site.

The missing men are skipper Michael Hayes, 52, student Kevin Kershaw, 21, and Egyptians Wael Mohammed, Saied Ali Eldin and Attia Shaban.

Relatives have again gathered on the quayside at Union Hall awaiting developments from the search.

Over 15 members of the Egyptian community said prayers there, among them the sole survivor, 40-year-old Abdo Mohammad, father of three and brother of missing Wael Mohammed.

In a statement earlier, the Naval Service said it was deeply conscious of the families and friends of the missing men and the wider fishing community.