Northern Ireland news

Buncrana tragedy: Brothers Mark and Evan McGrotty died together in car

Mark (12) and Evan McGrotty (8), who died in Sunday night's tragedy at Buncrana pier

Mark and Evan McGrotty died together in their father’s car, a member of the lifeboat crew who found them has said.

Joe Joyce said the brothers, aged 12 and eight, were discovered in the submerged car while their dad, aunt and grandmother’s bodies were floating in the sea.

He said all the crew members in Buncrana had been traumatised.

“We threw everything we had at this - we launched two lifeboats and we had a boarding boat there as well," he said.

“Arriving at the scene there were three bodies floating in the water. Each of our boats picked up one of the bodies and commenced CPR to try to resuscitate them and brought them back to shore and they were handed over there to the fire brigade and to the paramedics who tried further CPR. That was a girl and two adults.

“Once they were handed over the boats went to sea again and we located the car. The car was in approximately 10ft of water."

Crew members were able to stand on top of the car and used that as a reference point.

“One of our crew members then donned a snorkel and entered the water and recovered a further two bodies from within the car; that was the two wee boys.

“The boot of the car was open at that stage but we’re not sure how that happened. The driver’s window was smashed; again we’re not sure how that happened."

The crew continued their search until it was confirmed that everyone was accounted for.

The Lifeboat Institute is to offer counselling for all members involved in Sunday’s night’s rescue operation.

Francis Crawford saw the tragedy unfold and alerted the emergency services:

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