Margaret Kershaw, Kevin's mother keeps vigilIrish Independent

The parents of the 21-year-old lost at sea on his first outing as a fisherman have visited the scene of the tragedy in West Cork.

Dubliner Kevin Kershaw had taken up a new role as a fisherman in a bid to make enough money to emigrate to Australia.

He had only joined the Union Hall based trawler Tit Bonhomme at the weekend when disaster struck on his maiden voyage and the boat sank just outside the harbour.

Kevin is one of five men still missing, feared dead, after just one crewman managed to swim to safety when the ship sank in rough waters and heavy winds.

Naval divers have joined local boats and the Lifeboat service in the search for the five bodies as Kevin’s grieving parents, Paddy and Margaret, maintain a heartbreaking vigil on the pier.


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Also missing are local skipper and father-of-fiv,e Michael Hayes (52), and Egyptian crewmen Wael Mohamad (32), Saied aly Eldin (24) and Shaban Attia (26). Wael’s brother Abdou is the only survivor and spoke to the Kirwans when he visited the scene on Monday.

“He was my first port of call, I called to him first. Yes, it was emotional,” said grief stricken dad Paddy who revealed that his son took to the sea rather than sign on for the dole as he tried to raise the money to emigrate to Australia.

“My son was a diamond, he was a lovely young fella. He was an asset to the community and he shone like a bright light. Everyone who knew him loved him. He had that special shine about him.”

Mum Margaret is refusing to give up hope as difficult conditions hamper the search effort in West Cork.

She said: “My son was a happy-go-lucky kind of lad. But I am not giving up hope - I am hoping and praying that he can still be found safe.”

Dad Paddy added: “It is hard to understand. I was leaning on the optimistic side. I was asking myself was I preparing for a funeral or is there still a chance of his recovery.

“I feel for the other families -- they were all connected with this community even though some of them were from a foreign land. But I feel for them all.

“Everyone down here has been fantastic, it is a small, tight-knit community and all I can say is that they are wonderful people.”

Survivor Abdou Mohamad (40) has told of the last moments on board the doomed trawler on Sunday morning.

“We hit the rocks and the skipper told us to get to the lifeboats. Some of us were on top, some of us were below,” said Mohamad.

“But a wave smashed the glass and water flooded into the boat. The skipper said to open the door to relieve the pressure and I was swept out. I lost my lifejacket but I managed to retrieve it and to swim to the shore.”