A 21-year-old Dubliner on his first fishing trip is one of five men feared lost at sea after a trawler sank in West Cork.

A search and rescue effort has resumed in Union Hall for the two Irishmen and three Egyptians still missing after the weekend tragedy.

Those feared drowned include Kevin Kershaw, the young student from Dublin who wanted to try his hand as a fisherman.

He had moved to stay with relatives in Cork for his trial run on board the Tit Bonhomme, owned by local resident Michael Hayes.


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They were joined on the vessel by four Egyptians, one of whom managed to swim to safety after the trawler hit rocks outside Union Hall harbour in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Navy, Coast Guard, and RNLI lifeboats have joined in the air, land, and sea mission to locate the missing crewmen.

Police believe that the Irish-registered vessel struck rocks, known locally as Adam and Eve Island, just minutes away from returning to the harbor in strong winds and heavy seas.

Coast Guard operations manager Declan Geoghegan said, “I’d be very surprised if we are looking for survivors at this stage. It is not that easy an area to search and it is possible that bodies could still be on board the vessel as it went down so quickly.”

Local parish priest Fr Michael Curran spoke of the devastation in the West Cork village.

“The tragedy that has hit this community is awful for everyone,” said Fr Curran. “Something like this affects everybody deeply.

“A lot of people here are involved in fishing, it’s a big thing in Union Hall.”

Michael Hayes, the owner of the trawler, is married to Caitlin Ni Aodha, a spokeswoman for the Irish Fishermen’s Organisation and they have five children.

She was joined by other family members on the pier at Union Hall on Sunday as they anxiously waited for news of the search operation.

Egyptians Abdul Mohammed (43), Said Mohammed (23), Wael Mohammed (35), and Attea Ahmed Shaban (26) were also on board. Rescuers believe Abdul Mohammed was sucked out through the window of the wooden wheelhouse.

He managed to make it ashore to a headland to the west of the harbour and is currently described as ‘stable’ at Cork University Hospital.