Body found in west Cork in search for missing tourists

Search operation for second man called off for the night to resume at first light

A rescuer on the  Sheep’s Head peninsula in Co   Cork where two Dutch tourists went  missing. Photograph: Emma Jervis

A rescuer on the Sheep’s Head peninsula in Co Cork where two Dutch tourists went missing. Photograph: Emma Jervis

Mon, Feb 10, 2014, 20:38

Rescuers have found a body believed to one of two men missing from the Sheep’s Head peninsula in West Cork.

The men, aged 33 and 31, were reported missing to Valentia Coast Guard at 2am by Bantry gardaí.

The body was spotted around 12.30pm by members of the Irish Coastguard teams searching the cliffs on the northern side of the peninsula

However, rescuers could not reach the body, which was caught in a cleft between cliffs and they had to request the help of the coastguard helicopter.

A winchman from the helicopter managed to get down into the cleft and recover the body, which is being brought to hospital for a postmortem.

The body has yet to be formally identified but it is believed to be either the Dutchman whose family have a holiday home near Kilcrohane or that of his German friend.

The mother of one of the men, who owns a house in Kilcrohane, had earlier requested gardaí to search for them after becoming concerned for their welfare.

The Shannon Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115, Castletownbere and Goleen lifeboats are searching the shoreline for the men on both sides of the head, particularly the northern side.

A spokesman for Valentia Coast Guard said winds were at force 11 over the weekend, when the man’s mother, who is based in the Netherlands, last had contact with the two men.

The had said they planned to go walking on Sheep’s Head, parts of which are very close to the rocks.

The spokesman said the helicopter search commenced at 3.50am this morning until 4.45am, before resuming later. It has been called off tonight to resume at first light tomorrow.

Waves were still very high in the area, hampering the search.

High winds are still prevalent in the area.