31/10/2007

Search Called Off As Body Taken From River

The search for a man believed to have jumped into the River Bann in Coleraine has been called off.

Police have indicated the body recovered from the water near Castlerock’s Barmouth yesterday was that of the missing man.

They are now no longer looking for the person seen jumping from the Sandelford Bridge in Coleraine on Monday.

The dead man has been identified, however, his name has not been released. It is understood he is from the Coleraine area and is aged in his mid-20s.

Coleraine Coastguard and the Portrush Inshore Lifeboat had earlier launched a major search of the river and its banks. A police helicopter was also used during the operation.

A Portrush man who witnessed the man entering the water later told the Coleraine Times of his feeling of helplessness as he watched him slowly slip below the surface.

"I couldn't do anything," said driving instructor Willie Duffin.

"It was very frustrating not being able to help him.

"Nobody could get to him, he was in the middle of the river. I called the police and they went down to the river bank but they couldn't see him or get to him either."

He added: "I am very upset."

(BMcC)


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