Monday 24 October 2016

Search for man missing after two sea deaths


DIVERS are engaged in a race against the weather in west Cork to recover the body of missing student Barry Davis Ryan (20), who drowned in a triple tragedy on Tuesday.

Mr Davis Ryan drowned after diving into the sea at East Hole, the Beacon, outside Baltimore, in a bid to save his girlfriend, Niamh O'Connor (20), who was swept off rocks into the sea.

When he got into difficulty, his father, Barry Ryan (51), a scion of the family that founded Penneys/Primark, also entered the water in a doomed bid to save the youngsters. All three drowned.


The bodies of Mr Ryan and Ms O'Connor were recovered within minutes, but the body of Mr Davis Ryan is still missing.

Today, Naval Service and West Cork Rescue Divers (WCRD) extended its search area in a desperate bid to locate the remains before weather conditions deteriorate.

Dive teams operated from before 6am to 10pm yesterday.

Today, they will undertake dives in shifts as the search area is extended beyond the entrance to Baltimore harbour.

Concern is mounting that the strong currents that swirl past the entrance to the west-Cork harbour may have moved Mr Davis Ryan's remains.

John Kearney of WCRD said no effort is being spared.

"The aim is to cover as much of the area as possible while the weather conditions are still favourable," he told the Herald.

Divers and Irish Coastguard search co-ordinators are acutely aware that weather conditions are due to change this evening.

If, as expected, a major sea swell develops, all diving operations may have to be suspended for four or five days.

Throughout the search the Irish Coastguard has maintained volunteers on all local headlands to report any trace of the body surfacing.

The Ryan family, from Dublin, has been living in Cork for some time.

The tragedy occurred shortly after 6pm on Tuesday, just metres from the Beacon, one of the most popular tourist spots.

When Mr Davis Ryan got into difficulty trying to save his partner, his father shouted at his 14-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to run and raise the alarm before diving into the sea.

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