TWO BODIES have been recovered following an extensive search operation by Northern Irish and Scottish agencies for a missing speedboat in the Irish Sea.
The search was launched around 6.15pm on Saturday, May 6, after two men, aged 46 and 35, disappeared after launching their speedboat from Port Logan in Scotland around 9am and failed to return.
Portpartrick, Stranraer, Ballantrae, Isle of Whitworth and Bangor Coastguard Rescue Teams were involved, along with lifeboats from Port William, and Stranraer in Scotland, Ramsey and Peel in the Isle of Man and Portaferry and Donaghadee in Northern Ireland.
Two HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Prestwick and Caernarfon, along with Police Scotland who were also involved.
Spokesman for Donaghadee Lifeboat Maurice Neil told The Irish Post: "Donaghadee Lifeboat was involved in the search, both on Saturday evening when it searched the north channel through the Co. Down coast and also on Sunday, to join an extensive search involving quite a number of lifeboats, and coast guard assets.
"That search concluded yesterday afternoon with two bodies, believed to be the two people in the speedboat, but have yet to be formally identified.
"One of those bodies was recovered by Donaghadee Lifeboat," he said.
Inspector Stephen Bell of the Dumfries and Galloway Police Division of Police Scotland said: "Following a joint search operation by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the RNLI and Police Scotland, we can confirm that the bodies of two men have been recovered from the west coast of the Irish Sea.
“The men are yet to be formally identified, but are believed to be the that of the 46 year-old man and 35 year-old man, who police understand launched their speed boat from Port Logan at around 9am.
"Enquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident," Insp Bell said.