Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:12 UK

Man says wave washed away son

Aran Islands
Mr Brown was on holiday in the Aran Islands with his wife

The father of a Londonderry man who drowned off the Aran Islands said he believed his son was washed out to sea by a freak wave.

Joe Brown, 42, was last seen alive on Inisheer on Saturday 11 July. He and his wife Denise were on holiday.

"It was choppy that night and the waves around the island can be dangerous," said Pat Brown.

"The rescue people said he'd been caught in a wave and that took him straight out to sea."

The body of Joe Brown was found on Thursday 16 July by a fisherman in Galway Bay. He was buried on Monday.

"Joe said to Denise he was going for a dander along the seafront while she went back to the hotel for tea. When he hadn't returned by eleven-thirty she thought he had just met up with someone and had gone back to the bar," he added.

"Come the morning at 10 o'clock she phoned the two guys he was most likely to be with and they hadn't seen Joe since the night before.

"Then the panic set it, the Garda had been contacted and the air and sea rescue people came out. They searched all along Inisheer and they carried on the search up until Tuesday afternoon at three o'clock and that particular team had to leave to go and search for the Polish man and his son lost off Kenmare."

Mr Brown paid tribute to the rescue services and local people who helped in the search.

"There was an 85-year-old from Connemara who said he was over to give a hand to see if they could find my son," he said.

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