A 73-year-old man dies after a leisure boat overturns off Wexford in the south-east of Ireland.

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The man, from Salisbury in Wiltshire, died when a leisure boat overturned off Wexford in the south-east of Ireland. He was with nine other people on an 18ft fiberglass leisure boat, which capsized in choppy waters on Saturday, August 29.

The alarm was raised shortly after 11pm when the party failed to return from a fishing trip at the expected time and the Kilmore Quay lifeboat with five crew was launched just after 11.30pm. A spokesman for the Kilmore Quay RNLI said that the boat overturned off the Saltee Islands, a few miles from the mainland at Co Wexford.

The Saltee Islands passenger ferry, the An Crossan, also joined in the search along with Fethard RNLI.

Read full story and view video footage on the RNLI website

The lifeboat from Kilmore Quay was making its way to the area where it was thought the boat was when it received contact from the An Crossan saying that it had spotted an upturned hull. Ten people were in the water half a mile south of the Great Saltee Islands: a woman, eight men, and a teenage boy. The weather conditions were overcast and there was a Force 2-3 south-westerly blowing.

The party was found after passenger ferry’s crew heard shouting from the sea. It is thought the party, all of who were wearing lifejackets, had been in the water for four to five hours.
The boat is understood to have overturned in choppy waters when a breaking wave stove in the wheelhouse windows and swamped the vessel.

The crew of the An Crossan pulled all 10 people from the water. The RNLI spokesman said that the 73-year-old man from Wiltshire required urgent medical attention and was airlifted by helicopter to Waterford University Hospital about 30 miles away, where he died.

The nine other people were transferred to the Kilmore Quay lifeboat and back to shore where they were medically assessed before being transferred to Wexford General Hospital and treated for hypothermia.

No other casualties have been reported. The dead man has not been named.

Words Philip Reynolds