Man overboard on Lough Neagh

Tragedy struck on the largest lake in the British Isles as a man was lost overboard

On 1 December Belfast Coastguard responded to a report that a man had fallen overboard on the western shore of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.

The man had been on board an Aquador cabin cruiser about 150 yards offshore and a quarter of a mile southwest of Kells Point, when he fell at about 9pm. The crew of the cabin cruiser threw lifejackets to the victim and called the coastguard when he disappeared from view.

Lifeboats were immediately launched from Ardboe on the western shore of Lough Neagh and Kinnego in the south, the fire service was enlisted and a police helicopter used illumination to search over a mile of water and shoreline.

At 23.22pm all units were told to stand down, a decision that was based on the low water temperature.

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Watch Manager Steve Palmer said, “Despite the valiant efforts of all concerned we did not manage to find the man who had fallen overboard.

“I can only praise the efforts of all search units involved and had this person been visible at any time, the units would have probably located him. However, given the water and air temperatures at the time of the incident, it’s unlikely that a person would survive in the water for any length of time.

I’d like to offer our sympathies to the family of the missing man involved in this extremely unfortunate accident.”