Man’s body found again after slipping from grasp of searchers

A general view of Limerick city.

The body of a man, who entered the River Shannon in Limerick City two days ago, sparking a major search, was found this evening.

Earlier today there was agony for the man's family when they were called to the riverbank on receiving information his body was found but only to discover he had slipped away from the grasp of local fishermen who spotted him under the water's surface.

The fishermen had managed to hook the man's body to the side of his boat but it dislodged moments later just before search divers could reach the man's remains.

The missing 28-year old father of two, originally from Moyross but was living in Thomondgate, was seen entering the water at the Shannon Bridge at around 7.30pm on Sunday.

Gardaí and swift water rescue technicians attached to Limerick City Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the try and rescue him. The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter was also alerted and has been searching the river for the past 48 hours.

The missing man is the son of a local estuary fisherman from Limerick.

Today a plethora of fishing boats joined Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service and Mallow Search and Rescue - who used underwater sonar tracking equipment - in the search.

At around 1.30pm a boat with two fishermen on board found the missing man. The pair had been trying to hold the body in situ until search divers could make their way towards the boat.

In the intervening period the man's family were called to say his body had been found. However, before divers could get to the fishermen's boat, the body dislodged and disappeared under the surface again.

His devastated family kept a vigil all day by the riverbank hoping their lived one would be found.

One man at the scene said: "It was awful. One minute they had him, the next he was gone again. The family shouldn't have been contacted until the body was back on dry land. It's terrible for them. God knows what they are going through."

"I've never heard of that happening during a body retrieval," said an experienced river man.

A major search for the man, involving professional searchers and local volunteers, continued throughout the evening and he was finally recovered from the water at around 6.30pm by divers attached to Limerick Marine Search and Rescue (LMSR).

"We found the crater. He's gone to University Hospital Limerick for a post mortem. It's tragic, but at least his family have him back now and they can give him a Christian burial," said a LMSR spokesman.

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