West Cork Tragic Sea Search Continues

Date Published : July 2nd, 2015    Published By : admin

A search doe a third person following a drowning tragedy in West Cork on Tuesday 30th June has resumed this morning. Garda and Naval divers have been joined by the West Cork underwater search and rescue unit.

640_SAR Cork_ICG and Baltimore Boat

Up to 20 divers are involved in the search operation for the missing man, Mr Barry Davis Ryan.  His father Barry Ryan Snr and his (son’s) girlfriend were swept into the sea near Beacon Point outside Baltimore about 6.30pm on Tuesday.

An emergency call was received at the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre on Valentia Island and a rescue operation was launched. Two of Baltimore RNLI boats recovered Mss O Connor amd Mr. Ryan and M. Ryan. The Alan Massey recovered Ms O’Connor 30m offshore and the RNLI Baltimore Inshore Boat found Barry Ryan nearby where he was transferred to the Alan Massey where crew members carried out CPR on both casualties. HSE ambulance paramedics later worked on them both onshore before they were pronounced dead by a local GP.

John Kearney of the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue Team said Eastern Hole Bay was a difficult area to search as visibility was poor at depths of up to 20 metres amid a lot of water movement. The seabed was also quite rocky and covered in kelp, sometimes 2m deep, which also hindered the search but they were determined to comb the area as thoroughly as possible, he said.

The operation is being co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre at Valentia. Tim O’Keeffe of the Irish Coast Guard said.“We plan to resume the search at 8am when the tides are favourable – we will have over 20 divers so we’re hopeful of getting a good run at it before the weather starts to turn tomorrow night.

640_RNLI Baltimore Changeover

Tom Bushe, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this awful tragedy and we would like to express our condolences to the families of the deceased. The multi-agency search and rescue effort recommenced early this morning and our volunteers will be doing their utmost to find the third casualty.’

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats at 5.15am and are continuing to search in the area where the casualties entered the sea. Coxswain Aidan Bushe is leading the search aboard the ALB. Helm Youen Jacob is searching on the ILB.

Baltimore RNLI was first alerted at 6.38pm on Tuesday following a report that three people were in the water off Baltimore Beacon. The Beacon is within sight of the RNLI lifeboat station at Bull Point. Both the RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboats were launched with minutes and on scene within 10 minutes of the crew’s pagers going off.

Once on scene, the all-weather lifeboat recovered one casualty and the inshore lifeboat recovered a second, both from the water at Eastern Hole on the sea side of Baltimore Beacon within 12 minutes of receiving the alert. The ALB Coxswain was Kieran Cotter and ILB Helm was Jerry Smith.


Two teams of two trained RNLI crew members immediately began and continued CPR on both casualties. The casualties were transferred to the all-weather lifeboat which returned to the lifeboat station while the inshore lifeboat and the all-weather’s Y-boat continued to search for a third casualty.

RNLI shore crew as well as teams of HSE paramedics were waiting at the station to give further assistance alongside SouthDoc, Rapid Response Unit, Waterford and Shannon Coast Guard helicopters and the Gardai. Tragically, the casualties were pronounced dead a short time later.

The all-weather lifeboat went back out to continue the search in poor visibility. The search was stood down at 10.30pm as darkness fell. The search recommenced this morning at 5.15am with both Baltimore RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats continuing to search for the third missing person.

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