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06.59 1 Oct 2018


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Three Latvian men who lost their lives in a fishing tragedy in Kerry have been named locally.

They were remembered at a mass in Caherciveen earlier on Monday.

An investigation is underway and post mortems are being carried out to try and determine what happened off the coast of Coonanna on Sunday.

 It is understood the men had gone fishing earlier in the day.

The three victims have been named locally as 57-year-old Anatolijs Teivens, 30-year-old Jurijs Burcves from Killarney and 38-year-old Valerijs Klimentengvs from Tralee.

Searches at Caherciveen in Co Kerry | Image: Gail Conway

Debris collected from the sea and shoreline has been handed over from the Coastguard to Gardaí.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Bureau are continuing their investigation into what happened.

Local man Kevin O'Shea says the men had gone fishing many a time in the summer.

"I see the boat with the trailer where they were gone out and I couldn't see nothing - so I said it to my brother that it was a nasty day out there for a small boat.

"My nephew there was spotted them and seen the boat out there and the next thing they found the body there.

"It's an awful tragedy really."

This local man used to be a fisherman, and says the weather can change very quickly in the area.

"Oh it is a terrible tragedy altogether - they went out fishing for fish and I'd say the conditions were pretty terrible at the time.

"It was a good bit before they were reported missing".

Searches at Caherciveen in Co Kerry | Image: Gail Conway

"It can change so fast there: the wind picks up and you have to come in straight away.

"Locally here we have a good knowledge of the weather - but yesterday got very choppy".

John Draper, divisional controller with the Coastguard, says yesterday's conditions were not favourable for the type of boat the men went out in.

"Local knowledge would say that the vessel was 14-foot, quite a small vessel and low to the water with a large-ish engine on the vessel.

"Conditions were swell up to two metres and the wind was force four from the north-north-west.

"There was a chop in the water as well - so with a boat that's low to the water like that and swell conditions like that weren't' really favourable for fishing yesterday".

Parish Priest Fr Larry Kelly remembered the men at mass in Caherviceen on Monday morning.

He says the whole community is thinking of their families.

"The way I would put it is the joy of one, the joy of all - the pain of one is the pain of all.

"We are a very small community".

Post mortems are due to be carried out later.

The Latvian embassy in Dublin has issued a statement, offering its condolences to the mens' families and saying consular officials are liasing with authorities.

With reporting from Gail Conway and Jack Quann


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