Sea search resumes for missing man off Baltimore coast

Barry Davis Ryan was one of three people who were swept out in west Cork on Tuesday

Barry Davis Ryan (20) is still missing after he was swept out to sea in Baltimore, west Cork, on Tuesday. Photograph: Provision

Barry Davis Ryan (20) is still missing after he was swept out to sea in Baltimore, west Cork, on Tuesday. Photograph: Provision


The search for a young man missing following a drowning tragedy in west Cork which claimed the lives of his father and girlfriend resumed at 8am on Thursday morning.

The west Cork underwater search and rescue drivers have commenced searching and they will be joined shortly by the Naval and Garda drivers. Weather conditions at the search site are good.

Divers searching for Barry Davis Ryan (20) are hoping to locate his body on Thursday before the weather breaks.

The search for Mr Davis Ryan was called off late on Wednesday night but resumed on Thursday morning, with up to 20 divers involved in the operation near Baltimore.

Mr Davis Ryan is still missing after going to the aid of his girlfriend, Niamh O’Connor (20) when she fell or was swept into the sea near Beacon Point outside Baltimore about 6.30pm on Tuesday.

Mr Davis Ryan’s father, Barry Ryan (51) went to the aid of his son and Ms O’Connor and all three were swept out by waves in an area known as Eastern Hole Bay on the seaward side of Beacon Point.

The three had been walking on the shore at Beacon Point with Barry Ryan’s daughter, Charlotte (13), when the incident happened.

He told his daughter to go and get help before he went to try and help his son and Ms O’Connor.

Mobile phone

A rescue operation was launched and Baltimore RNLI all-weather boat, the Alan Massey recovered Ms O’Connor 30m offshore and the RNLI Baltimore Inshore Boat found Barry Ryan nearby. Mr Ryan Snr was transferred to the Alan Massey and crew carried out CPR on both casualties, while HSE paramedics later worked on them onshore before they were pronounced dead by a local GP.

A team of local divers carried out a search for the remaining missing man, Barry Davis Ryan, until about 10pm on Tuesday when, due to fading visibility, the search was called off for the night.

It is understood Mr Ryan’s distraught partner, Ann Davis, their daughter Charlotte and the couple’s other son, Arthur were on Wednesday being comforted by relatives at their home in Rath just outside Baltimore, Co Cork.

Family and friends of Ms O’Connor were also supporting her distraught parents, Paul and Catherine, and her younger sister, Clodagh at their home in Glanmire on the outskirts of Cork city.

The search resumed for Barry Davis Ryan early on Wednesday. Six divers from the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue Team began searching Eastern Hole Bay about 5am and they were later joined by 10 Naval Service divers.

Resume searching

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 and, according to Tim O’Keeffe of the Irish Coast Guard, was to resume on Thursday morning.

Favourable tides

On Wednesday, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, Rescue 117 carried out several sweeps of the bay in the morning while it was replaced by the Shannon helicopter, Rescue 115 in the afternoon.

Irish Coast Guard Cliff and Coastal Units from Toe Head, Glandore and Goleen also joined in a shoreline search with members scanning the sea with binoculars for any sign of Mr Davis Ryan snr.