Fisherman dies after boat capsizes


The fishing village of Dunmore East in Co Waterford was yesterday mourning the death of a local man at sea exactly six years to the day since five men died in another fishing tragedy.

Johnny Flynn, a 43-year-old single man from Dunmore East, died after he and his friend, James Tate, were thrown into the water when their 16ft boat capsized at about 5.30am off Brownstown Head near Tramore.

Both men were wearing lifejackets but only Mr Tate managed to make it ashore. He climbed up rocks and crossed sand dunes before managing to raise the alarm at about 7.45am and a major search operation was launched.

The Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky helicopter Rescue 117 was scrambled from Waterford Airport and both Dunmore East lifeboats, the Elizabeth and Ronald, and the Tramore RNLI inshore boat were launched in response to the emergency.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew located Mr Flynn in an unconscious state and winched him from the water at about 8.30am but efforts to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at Waterford Regional Hospital.

Mr Tate, who is in his 40s and originally from Ballycotton in east Cork, was taken to hospital suffering from shock and hypothermia but was later discharged, while the men’s boat was also recovered and brought back to Dunmore East.

Coroner’s inquest

A Marine Casualty Investigation Board spokeswoman confirmed that a full investigation would take place into the incident, while gardaí have also begun an investigation with a view to preparing a file on Mr Flynn’s death for an inquest.

Former local councillor and retired fisherman Geoff Power said the tragedy was a shock to the local community, particularly as it had happened on the sixth anniversary of the sinking of the Pere Charles fishing vessel with the loss of five lives.

Meanwhile, a 54-year-old Spanish fisherman died at Cork University Hospital after being airlifted from a trawler 120 miles off Loop Head on the west coast of Ireland yesterday morning.

Valentia Coast Guard scrambled its Shannon based helicopter at about 11am following reports that a crew member had sustained serious head injuries.