SEARCHES ARE continuing today for missing man Willie Whelan who has not been seen since the trawler on which he was fishing vanished at sea on Saturday night.
Mr Whelan (41) and Joe Sinnott (65) were fishing for scallops off the Wexford Coast on Saturday, 4 January, when the trawler is believed to have sunk at approximately 10.30pm.
A major search operation carried out by the RNLI and Coastguard Helicopter resulted in Mr Sinnott being recovered from the water in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He was taken to University Hospital Waterford where he sadly passed away.
Mr Whelan is still missing, feared drowned, with searches hampered by bad weather and limited visibility.
While the search was called off at around 4.30pm yesterday evening, it resumed today just after 9am, with Naval Service crews and dive team on standby, according to The Independent.
Our volunteers heading out to resume the search this morning. Tough search conditions, stay safe out there, thinking of the families at this sad time @DunmoreEastRNLI @KilmoreQuayRNLI @naval_service @IrishCoastGuard #Rescue117 @RNLI pic.twitter.com/j43hG03EtI
— Dunmore East RNLI (@DunmoreEastRNLI) January 6, 2020
Both men have years of experience at sea, and the boat is believed to have been in good condition. It is not yet clear what may have caused the accident, as sea conditions were said to be calm at the time.
Michael Sinnott, son of Mr Joe Sinnott, spoke to The Independent of the family's shock, saying:
"It's hard to believe. He was so many years at sea, and the man who was with him too, so whatever happened wasn't down to a lack of experience."
"He was a hard worker. They were scallop fishing, which would have been a 24-hour trip with a two-man crew.
"The boat was in good condition."
The Irish Coastguard were initially alerted to the sinking via an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) from the trawler-- something which is triggered when a boat is submerged in water.
Searches for the trawler and for Mr Willie Whelan continue.