THE gardaí have appealed to the public not to put their own lives at risk in the search for the missing fisherman off Dunmanus Bay.
Speaking at Bantry Garda Station, Supt Declan O’Sullivan said: ‘On behalf of all of the agencies involved in this search operation, I would ask for members of the public not to put their lives at risk by taking to the water around the search area, or by walking around the shoreline and cliff edges, in an attempt to assist us. We understand that your assistance is well-intentioned, but you are putting yourself at risk in poor weather conditions.’
He was responding to the huge numbers of local people who have turned out to search for missing fisherman Kodie Healy who failed to return home on Wednesday evening, after a day fishing from his trawler.
Members of An Garda Síochána, members of the Coast Guard, Irish Naval Service, Civil Defence and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are continuing to carry out searches in the Dunmanus Bay area.
Wreckage, believed to be from the young man’s boat, was discovered earlier in Dunmanus Bay.
‘Some of the larger, well equipped local fishing vessels have been assisting us with our operation and we wish to thank them for their efforts thus far. Emergency services will indicate what assistance the public could provide if necessary,' said Supt O’Sullivan.
The search operation is being coordinated by Valentia Coast Guard in conjunction with An Garda Síochána.
The search has been underway since 8.30pm on Wednesday evening and the Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter R115 has been conducting further searches this morning and shoreline searches will be conducted by Coast Guard units from Schull and Goleen.
The naval ship LE George Bernard Shaw, Castletownbere RNLI and a number of local vessels, are conducting a search that is focused on the general area where debris was located.
A naval service diving team is also participating in the search.