Search for missing tourist continues

Search for missing tourist continues


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Several dive clubs have been assisting in the search – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

A shoe, believed to belong to a missing Japanese tourist, was found washed up on a beach in Co Clare yesterday.

The discovery was made at around midday by local authority staff carrying out a routine clean-up on the beach at Kilkee. The shoe was handed into the local coast guard station and then handed over to gardaí.

The search for Ushio Azaki (61) resumed early yesterday after the body of Eiji Takagi (63) was recovered by divers from Kilkee Sub Aqua Club on Sunday. The body was located in about 27m (88ft) of water near George’s Head.

Representatives from the Japanese embassy travelled to Kilkee yesterday where they met with Coast Guard officers and were taken to the Georges head to view the search operation.

Divers and from the Naval Service Diving Section arrived in Kilkee at lunchtime while the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter carried out further sweeps of the area.

Naval Divers
Naval divers arrived in Kilkee on Monday to join in the search – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Remotely operated drones and specially trained cadaver dogs were used in the search at the weekend. 

The pair arrived in Ireland on August 18th and spent three nights in Doonbeg before moving onto Spanish Point where they stayed in a local hotel on Friday night (21st).

The couple’s red Hyundai rental car was found parked at Bynres Cove near Kilkee golf club last Tuesday but its known to have been there, and not moved, since the previous Saturday morning.

The couple also failed to board a flight from Shannon to London last Monday (24th) from where they were due to catch a connecting service to Tokyo.

Coordinated by the Irish Coast Guard, including units from Kilkee, Doolin and Ballybunnion, members of Civil Defence from Clare, Dublin, Laois and Tipperary were involved in the search operation at the weekend.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Rescue 115 hovering over Kilkee Bay yesterday – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Kilkee Coast Guard officer in charge Martony Vaughan said: “Divers from the Naval Service Diving Section have now joined the search and will be with us for a few days. The helicopter has been up again and the coastline searches are also continuing.”

“We had huge support at the weekend and we are very grateful to the Civil Defence teams and all the sub aqua and dive clubs who have been assisting in the search,” Mr Vaughan added.

Gardaí at Kilrush can be contacted on 065 908 0550while anyone with information can also call the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.