Northern Ireland news

DNA testing for remains discovered by fishermen

PSNI sealed off a harbour in Co Down after human remains were found.

A decomposed body, discovered after being pulled up in nets by fishermen working on a Co Down vessel is to undergo DNA testing.

Trawler men who were left badly shaken after finding the remains, thought to be that of a man, are being looked after by the Fishermen's Mission while police continue to investigate the find.

DNA testing to try and identify the remains against a data base of missing people will now take place, with efforts to establish how the body came to be in the Irish Sea.

The body was brought to Portavogie harbour in Co Down on Monday by the fishing crew who discovered it while fishing for prawns near the Isle of Man.

Police and forensic teams closed off the harbour and examined the boat before removing the remains.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out with efforts made to establish the identity of the body.

Forensics officers were called to Portavogie harbour after fishermen found human remains at sea

The skipper from the local area and the crew of the boat, who are believed to be fishermen mainly from India, are said to be "badly shaken up" by the discovery.

Portavogie harbour master, Eddie Robinson said he was was called to the scene late on Monday night.

"When I came down, there wasn't much I could do other than take care of the crew," he said.

"I brought them down to our rest room, there was heating on for them and I got them settled in for the night.

"These guys live on the boat. They had nowhere else to go. The Fishermen's Mission is looking after them now and they will take good care of them."

SDLP councillor Joe Boyle said: "This is extremely devastating news for the local community in Portavogie and indeed the families and friends set to get horrific news once the identity is confirmed.

"I would ask people to avoid the area to allow the PSNI space and time to carry out their investigation.

"I would appeal to anyone with information to contact the PSNI at this time".

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