Elderly British man dies in family boating accident off Wexford coast

Elderly British man dies in family boating accident off Wexford coast

AN elderly Wiltshire man has died after a boat capsized during a family fishing trip off the coast of Co. Wexford.

The 73-year-old from Salisbury and nine others - believed to be members of his extended family – were in the water for up to five hours on Saturday evening before they were rescued.

The eight men, a woman and a teenage boy had been in Co. Wexford for a get together and travelled to Kilmore Quay for a fishing trip.

They had set off at 4pm on Saturday afternoon and were expected to return by sunset, but when they failed to return another family member alerted the emergency services.

The alarm was raised at 11.30pm, an hour before they were found clinging to the hull of their 18ft boat half a mile off the Great Saltee Island.

They were rescued by staff on a local passenger ferry and by a local volunteer lifeboat crew.

The Kilmore Quay Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) found the group - all wearing lifejackets – shouting after the ferry’s lights went out briefly during the rescue mission.

The elderly man was taken aboard the ferry and then transferred to an RNLI lifeboat.

He was airlifted by the Irish Coast Guard to University Hospital Waterford, but he later died.

Aidan Bates, of Kilmore Quay RNLI, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this incident and we would like to wish them all a speedy recovery from their ordeal.

"The party had done the right thing in letting someone know when they were due back and thankfully, as a result of that, the alarm was able to be raised."

Lifeboat crews believe that a wave caused the boat to overturn, after it broke the windows of the wheelhouse and swamped the vessel.

Members of the group rescued were treated for shock and the effects of hypothermia after spending hours in the water.