Emergency services at the scene in Coonanna. RTE photo.
By Anthony Neeson
Three bodies have been recovered from the Kerry coast after a fishing boat capsized at the weekend.
The men, who lived locally, were aged 57, 38 and 30, and were originally from Latvia. The men have families in the Killarney and Tralee area.
Locals have reported that the men had been taking the 15-foot “Rib” boat out on Sundays for several months, spending the day fishing.
On Sunday the alarm was raised at 6 p.m. when the men’s boat was seen jutting out of the water near Coonanna. A local man alerted the emergency services to the overturned boat and a body floating in the water.
The Shannon helicopter recovered the first body near the pier at Coonanna. The other two bodies were found several hundred meters from shore. It’s believed that one of the men had tried to swim to the pier to raise the alarm. All three had been wearing flotation devices.
The bodies were recovered within an hour of the alarm being raised.
There were swells of up to three meters along the south-west coast at the time.
Police at Cahersiveen are liaising with the families of the three men. With post mortem examinations being carried out on the friends Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have seen the men leave the pier – which is popular with anglers – to contact them.
While the exact circumstances of the incident are unclear it’s believed it may have been a freak accident.
The local community are devastated at news of the tragedy.
Father Larry Kelly, the parish priest in Caherciveen, said: “Everybody is shocked, these three young men, from what I can gather have come here fairly often in the past.
“We feel huge sorrow, heavy hearts for the families back home. It must be very tragic for them and everybody around here is devastated as well. It is a huge tragedy.”