THE body of an oyster fisherman has been recovered from Poulnasherry Bay, Moyasta.
In the early hours of Sunday morning emergency services were contacted when four men working on oyster beds in the bay were reported to be in difficulty.
Shannon Coast guard tasked Kilrush RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew at 3.29 am to investigate a report of four persons in the water in the Poulnasherry Bay area of the Shannon Estuary.
The deceased man, who is believed to be in his 40s and is a father of three from the Carrigaholt parish, attempted to swim ashore. His three colleagues, including the deceased man’s brother, were rescued.
Kilrush lifeboat crew were met by members of the public on the scene who had successfully recovered three persons safely from the water. The casualties were transferred by ambulance for medical assessment to University Hospital, Limerick.
Kilrush RNLI, Kilkee Coast Guard and the Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter undertook a large-scale search of the area to locate a fourth missing person.
The search operation continued through the night with the addition of Fenit RNLI lifeboat, Doolin Coast Guard, Irish Customs Vessel, Ballybunnion Rescue Services, SFPC Pilot Boat as well as an extensive shore search team from all agencies as well as navy diving units.
A man was recovered from the water at 10.42am on Sunday morning following an extensive search and his body was taken to the Kilrush RNLI Lifeboat station.
Valentia Coastguard have said that the oyster fishermen were using tractors and trailers and got cut off from shore when the tide came in.
Commenting on the callout, Pauline Dunleavy, Kilrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager described the response as one of the largest search and rescue operation in the Shannon Estuary for a number of years.
“I would like to commend the quick response from all agencies especially the members of the public that assisted. On behalf of everyone at Kilrush RNLI Lifeboat Station, I wish to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who sadly did not survive,” she said..