One Armagh angler dead and another missing as search is suspended

The search of Lough Ree in Co Westmeath.
The search of Lough Ree in Co Westmeath.

The Armagh angler who died on a fishing trip in the Irish Republic has been named as 27-year-old David Warnock.

One man remains missing and another is in a critical condition in hospital after their boat capsized on Lough Ree in Co Westmeath on Thursday afternoon.

Members of the Athlone sub aqua club, return to Hodson Bay.

Members of the Athlone sub aqua club, return to Hodson Bay.

Gardai confirmed that Mr Warnock died after being transferred to a Galway hospital on Thursday night.

The search for the third man resumed shortly after 8am on Friday morning, with Lough Ree RNLI, sub aqua units from Athlone and Lanesborough and local anglers taking part.

Conditions were reported to be poor on Thursday afternoon when the party of six set out in two boats from the Hodson Bay area.

They were using two 15ft (4.6m) Dell Quay Dory flat-bottomed vessels which were heavily laden with fishing and camping gear, much of which was found strewn across the lough during the search.

The men, all members of the Portadown Pikers angling club, and who knew the area well, were planning to travel about five miles (8km) to the Carna area or an island on the lough for a camping and pike-fishing trip.

It is thought the two boats, one of which turned back to shore a short distance into the journey, were hit by localised squalls.

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.

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

The local RNLI search teams said the alarm was raised by a local person who was concerned about the men heading out in deteriorating conditions.

The crew launched before receiving a report of an accident or a boat capsizing.

“The boat was on the water before anything happened. It was a precautionary measure because a member of the public expressed concern about the men leaving Hodson Bay,” a spokesman said.

The search was suspended as darkness fell on Friday evening.