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Glengad woman who lost father at sea backs fundraiser 27.04.15

AN Inishowen woman who lost her father in a fishing tragedy when she was just six weeks old is lending her support to Mayday, the RNLIís national fundraising campaign which runs from May 1- May 4.
Almost 28 years on from the tragedy, Eimear McDaid recently met with Anthony Chambers, a volunteer lifeboat crew member from Portrush in Co Antrim, who can remember the day when he joined in the search for two missing fishermen from a crew of five, off the coast of Donegal.
Eimear McDaid and her mother Sally from Glengad pictured with Portrush RNLI mechanic Anthony Chambers who was involved in the search for David McDaid nearly 28 years ago.
It was September 20, 1987, that 27-year old David McDaid from Glengad in Malin said goodbye to wife Sally and baby daughter Eimear and went fishing for crab on the Boy Shaun, from Portaleen Pier, on what was an idyllic day for fishing. The weather was mild and the water was calm as the boat headed for Inishtrahull Island just off the coast of Malin Head.
Around lunchtime, another boat which had been in recent contact with the Boy Shaun, noticed that the vessel was no longer in view.
"From what I have learned, the skipper then attempted to contact the Boy Shaun by radio but got no response," said Eimear.
"Fearing the worst, he steamed off in the direction of where they had last seen the boat and discovered a small amount of debris and oil slick on the water where they had last seen the Boy Shaun. They had just a short time earlier spoke to the crew of the boat about them both heading back to land to get home in time to watch the All-Ireland GAA football final."
The skipper immediately raised the alarm. The area of the oil slick was searched and one survivor was discovered clinging to a short plank of wood from the stricken vessel. Two bodies, one of which was Davidís, were subsequently found.
"None of the five fishermen were wearing lifejackets that day," added Eimear.
"I was told the crew would have found them to be too cumbersome to work with. Thankfully, lifejackets have much improved since then, and they are now neater and easier to wear.
"It was a tragedy that changed the course of life for my mother and me. I have grown up without a father and without answers as to what caused the boat to sink on what was described as such an idyllic fishing day. As a result of the tragedy however, we both have a healthy respect for the sea. It is a powerful force and one not to be reckoned with."
Anthony Chambers also recalled the events as "a terrible tragedy for the families involved".
Eimear and her mum and backing the RNLI Mayday campaign from May 1- May4 with its yellow welly motif. They are urging people to donate, buy and wear a yellow welly to show their support.
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