herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Divers needed to help in search for missing Barry Ryan

Barry Davis Ryan
Barry Davis Ryan

FISHERMEN, yachtsmen and coastal walkers have been urged to be vigilant for missing student Barry Davis Ryan (20) amid hopes his body may surface within the next 72 hours.

The search continued for a seventh day around Baltimore harbour in west Cork yesterday with weather conditions again hampering major operations by divers.

Mr Davis Ryan drowned alongside his father, Barry Ryan (51), after both had heroically tried to save the young man’s girlfriend, Niamh O’Connor (20), who was swept into the sea.

The accident occurred shortly after 6pm on June 30 at East Hole, near Baltimore’s iconic Beacon tourist attraction.

Mr Ryan’s daughter, Charlotte (14), raised the alarm but all three drowned.

The bodies of Ms O’Connor and Mr Ryan Snr were recovered within minutes by Baltimore RNLI.

However, despite a massive recovery operation over the past seven days involving more than 60 personnel, no trace has so far been found of the young man’s remains.

Special prayers were offered by the family at Mr Ryan’s Requiem Mass in Rath, Baltimore for the recovery of Mr Davis Ryan’s body.

Recovery experts said there is now hope the young man’s remains may surface from the seabed within the next 24 to 72 hours.

The recovery operation has involved look-outs being maintained at all headlands around Baltimore.

However, divers believe there is a very strong chance that the young man’s body may still be within the outer harbour area.

Once weather conditions improve, an expanded dive operation will resume led by the Irish Coastguard and West Cork Dive Rescue (WCDR).

Only limited dives have been possible since a major deterioration in weather conditions last Thursday evening in west Cork. Diver John Kearney vowed that no effort will be spared in trying to locate and recover Mr Davis Ryan’s remains.

“Everyone knows how important it is for a family to get the remains of a loved one back so they can get some closure,” he said.

The recovery operation

has, until now, been limited

to Irish Coastguard, Naval Service, RNLI and WCDR personnel.

However, to maximise a predicted improvement in weather conditions, search officials said they would welcome the support of experienced recovery divers later this week.

The weather is predicted to substantially improve from Thursday.

Mr Ryan Snr and Mr Davis Ryan are the son and grandson of Penney’s founder, Arthur Ryan (80).

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