Search continues for missing angler

The Hodson's Bay area of Lough Ree (Picture: Graham Horn via Wikimedia Commons)

A search has resumed for an angler missing on a lough in Ireland.

The man was in a party of six fishermen from Northern Ireland on a trip to Lough Ree, Co Westmeath.

The anglers were in two 15ft (4.6m) boats which left the Hodson Bay area early yesterday afternoon but got into difficulty in localised squalls.

Lough Ree RNLI launched at 4pm yesterday after the alarm was raised.

Two men, one in his 50s and another in his 30s, were rescued from the water within two hours and are said to be in a critical condition in hospital.

Liam Sheringham of the RNLI crew said the boat the men were in was not found until midnight.

It is not clear if the boat capsized in bad weather or struck something in the water.

The six anglers, all believed to be from an angling club in Armagh and who know the area, were planning to travel about five miles in two boats to the Carna area or an island on the lough for a camping and pike fishing trip.

Mr Sheringham said the men had spoken to locals about weather before they set out.

“The boats are Dell Quay Dory double-skinned boats, and they would be considered relatively unsinkable but up to last night it had not been found,” he said.

“They had a big load on the boat.”

It is understood one of the boats in the party turned back a short while into the journey.

The RNLI lifeboat crew, the Athlone and Lanesborough sub aqua club and local anglers are all taking part in the search of a stretch of the lough which was strewn with fishing gear and debris.

Damien Delaney, operations manager of Lough Ree RNLI, said last night: “This was a major search and rescue operation on Lough Ree involving the RNLI, Coast Guard, Athlone Sub Aqua, Lanesborough Sub Aqua, and other local boats.

“The lifeboat crew were able to rescue two men from the water but a third remains missing.

“Our thoughts are with the men’s families.”

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