On the 10th and 11th of January 2007 two fishing trawlers the Pere Charles and the Honeydew ll were lost in turbulent Winter storms off the coast of Waterford. The Pere Charles was fishing south of Hook Head and was returning back to Dunmore East with a full catch on the evening of the 10th of January but there was a storm and she was fighting raging seas. The Pere Charles sank and sadly the sea claimed all five of her crew.
The crew that were lost on that terrible night were Tom Hennessy Skipper aged 30, Pat Hennessy crewman aged 48, Billy O’Connor crewman aged 52, Ukrainian national Andrei Dyrin, crewman aged 32 and Patrick Coady crewman aged 27.
Only hours after the tragic loss of the Pere Charles a monster wave hit the wooden-hulled Honeydew II from Kinsale which was fishing off the coast of Waterford at Mine Head, she sank within minutes. Conditions of storm force 10 were recorded off the west Waterford coast that night, with waves as high as 18m.
Two people lost their lives, Kinsale native and skipper Ger Bohan aged 39 and 31-year-old crew member Tomasz Jagla from Poland.
Former RTÉ News Correspondent Damien Tiernan (now with WLR FM) tells the story of the seven men who lost their lives off the coast of Ireland and speaks to the loved ones left behind by the double tragedy.
Despite extensive searches, including a number of dives by the Naval Service and an exhaustive combing of the seashore by hundreds of volunteers, none of the bodies of the seven fishermen were ever found.
RTE’s south east correspondent Damien Tiernan who reported on the tragedies wrote a book titled ‘Souls of the Sea’ (which is available from Amazon) as a memorial to the missing men.
The Pere Charles written by Frank Walsh and sung by Pat Comerford