THE body of a young Coleraine man was recovered from the River Bann last Wednesday night - five days after he went missing from home.
A combination of the town’s community rescue service and the kayak club from nearby Portrush found the body of 27-year-old Noel Gilmore near the town’s Mountsandel Bridge.
Upwards of 150 people were involved in the frantic search for Mr Gilmore after he failed to return to his home at Inglewood Avenue in the town - he was last seen on the previous Friday night when he was out on an evening with friends.
Earlier last week the PSNI helicopter helped scour the river bank for the Mr Gilmore. Searches of land adjacent to the river bank were also carried out by police and civilian rescue teams.
The family assumed he was spending the weekend with friends, but when he had not returned by last Monday, they raised the alarm with police.
Sean McCarry from the Coleraine Community Rescue Service said that around 70 members of the organisation joined with scores of local people, the PSNI and members of the kayak club.
He said: “One of the kayak club members spotted the body close to the bank at Mountsandel and the rescue service moved in to recover Noel. It was a sad end to the rescue, and the family is absolutely shattered.”
The Gilmores are a well-known business family in Coleraine, and Noel - who was single - worked in the business which deals in fuels oil and plumbing.
He is survived by his parents Leslie and Amy and brothers and Adam.
The house and funeral - which has yet to take place - are strictly private and the PSNI have issued a statement asking “for the respect of their privacy at this time of loss”.
The statement added that Noel’s death is not believed to be suspicious.
Assemblyman David McClarty said the thoughts of everyone in the town were with the Gilmore family. “The thoughts and prayers of everybody are with the family at the present time, but if you have not been through such an experience you cannot fully understand what they are going through.”