A man has died after spending up to five hours in the water with nine others, after their boat capsized off the coast of county Wexford, Ireland.
The 10 people, all wearing lifejackets, were rescued after being in the water for four to five hours after their 18ft leisure craft boat overturned near the Saltee Islands after a fishing trip.
The alarm was raised with Kilmore Quay RNLI at 11.15pm on Saturday by a person known to the missing party after their boat, which had set off at 4pm, failed to return as expected.
Kilmore Quay and Fethard RNLI lifeboats and the Saltee Islands passenger ferry, the An Crossan, crewed by three more Kilmore Quay lifeboat volunteers carried out an extensive search.
The An Crossan spotted the upturned hull and 10 people, one woman and nine males including a teenage boy, in the water, half a mile south of the Great Saltee Islands at around 12.30am.
Weather conditions at the time were overcast and there was a force 2-3 south westerly wind blowing.
It was when the passenger ferry’s search light went out temporarily that its crew members heard shouting from the sea.
The boat is understood to have overturned in choppy water when a breaking wave stove in the windows in the wheelhouse and swamped the vessel.
The crew of the An Crossan pulled all 10 people from the water and onto the ferry.
One man in his early 70s, who was in need of urgent medical attention, was transferred onto the Kilmore Quay lifeboat and treated by lifeboat crew members until the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 117 helicopter from Waterford arrived.
He was airlifted to Waterford University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The nine other people were transferred to Kilmore Quay on the passenger ferry where they were then brought into the lifeboat station, medically assessed and made comfortable until an ambulance arrived and took them to Wexford General Hospital.
Aidan Bates, Kilmore Quay RNLI Lifeboat spokesman, said the group had done the right thing by wearing lifejackets and letting someone know when they were due back. He said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this incident.’