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Death of Irish pilgrim at Finisterre

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Local news websites have reported the death of an Irish pilgrim near Finisterre after he got into difficulties while swimming in the sea late last night (Thursday 26 September). Although his friends were eventually able to recover him from the water they were not able to revive him.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I've been to that lovely beach twice in late May and spent time away from the crowds breathing in the beauty and solitude. Never saw anyone swimming though.
I wonder what the problem with it is...rip tide currents possibly?
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
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Being a Celtic Pilgrim and starting my Camino on Sunday Im particularly touched by this tragic loss of a young man cut off at his prime. I lived in Finisterre for 2 weeks at end of my Camino and despite being by the ocean I never felt the call into the water. I hope this young Pilgrim found what he was looking for and wonder if he was aware of the folklore that the ‘End of the World’ on the mythical and dangerous Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) was believed to be home to Ara Solis, an ancient altar dedicated to sun worshiping; some say created by the Phoenicians, some say by Celtic tribes.
It is also here that pre-christian comunities believed the Land of the Living touched the Land of the Death. RIP 🤠
 

Pia Valbak Schmidt

Pilgrim, DK, Caminos 2007,09,11,12,13,14.15,16,18
Camino(s) past & future
2007,2009,2011,2012,2013,2014.2015,2016,2018. Hospitalera 2012,2013,2014,2016,2017
Local news websites have reported the death of an Irish pilgrim near Finisterre after he got into difficulties while swimming in the sea late last night (Thursday 26 September). Although his friends were eventually able to recover him from the water they were not able to revive him.
So tragic. May he rest in peace.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19 ,May 2020
Being a Celtic Pilgrim and starting my Camino on Sunday Im particularly touched by this tragic loss of a young man cut off at his prime. I lived in Finisterre for 2 weeks at end of my Camino and despite being by the ocean I never felt the call into the water. I hope this young Pilgrim found what he was looking for and wonder if he was aware of the folklore that the ‘End of the World’ on the mythical and dangerous Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) was believed to be home to Ara Solis, an ancient altar dedicated to sun worshiping; some say created by the Phoenicians, some say by Celtic tribes.
It is also here that pre-christian comunities believed the Land of the Living touched the Land of the Death. RIP 🤠

Cork man drowns in tragic swimming incident on the Camino trail
Darragh Bermingham
A Cork man has drowned in a freak swimming accident in Spain, The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
Timothy Kelleher, mid to late 30s, drowned on Thursday evening at a resort in Northern Spain.
The Cork man, from around the Ballyvourney area, had just begun the famous Camino trek to the Santiago de Compostela when the incident occurred.
It is understood that he went for a swim after walking all day but got into difficulty in the water and was found unresponsive a short time later.
Efforts were made to resuscitate him at the scene but he was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.
A post mortem examination is to be carried out in the coming days.
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed to The Echo that it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.
Mr Kelleher’s parents live locally in the Ballyvourney area where his father operates a construction business.
Mr Kelleher has one brother and was working with his father in the business.
It is the latest tragedy to impact Cork holidaymakers overseas this summer.
In August, two Cork children died in separate drowning incidents while on family holidays in Germany and Spain.


CORK DEATH
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19 ,May 2020
Being a Celtic Pilgrim and starting my Camino on Sunday Im particularly touched by this tragic loss of a young man cut off at his prime. I lived in Finisterre for 2 weeks at end of my Camino and despite being by the ocean I never felt the call into the water. I hope this young Pilgrim found what he was looking for and wonder if he was aware of the folklore that the ‘End of the World’ on the mythical and dangerous Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) was believed to be home to Ara Solis, an ancient altar dedicated to sun worshiping; some say created by the Phoenicians, some say by Celtic tribes.
It is also here that pre-christian comunities believed the Land of the Living touched the Land of the Death. RIP 🤠

Good luck with your Camino on Sunday ,
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Cork man drowns in tragic swimming incident on the Camino
Extremely sad and resonates a little with my situation as I have a brother of a similar age who works in family construction business in Derry. I left the business last year and walked the Camino. A very sad time for the Cork community. From one rebel county to another. My heartfelt condolences 😢
 

Yoyo

➜ I'd rather be walking ➜
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
I've been to that lovely beach twice in late May and spent time away from the crowds breathing in the beauty and solitude. Never saw anyone swimming though.
I wonder what the problem with it is...rip tide currents possibly?

Yes, the article the OP posted states that the beaches near Finisterre pose a threat to visitors who are not familiar with the dangerous currents in that area. This part of the coast is even called Costa da Morte or Coast of Death.
Very sad, indeed.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
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Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
The beach at Finisterre is not safe for swimming. Please do not swim there.

There are signs on the path leading to the beach saying so. The owner of the albergue in which I stayed in 2014 said exactly the same thing, quite emphatically. They are saying this as a consequence of drowning deaths experienced there.

The beach is beautiful, but it is an ocean beach. There is a nasty ledge dropping away only a few short metres from the shore line. The waves coming in deposit water that then has to be sluiced away somehow, and that is done via rips (US: 'riptides'). Once in a rip there is a way to exit it, but it is a terrifying experience and rational thought is discarded in a struggle for survival.

Also, simply because the water looks calm does not at all mean it is safe; the water is still moving and the rips are still in existence.

It is an absolute tragedy that someone has drowned. I just can't express my sorrow at this news.
 

Richard A Stead

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2016) Portuguese 2017
Local news websites have reported the death of an Irish pilgrim near Finisterre after he got into difficulties while swimming in the sea late last night (Thursday 26 September). Although his friends were eventually able to recover him from the water they were not able to revive him.
Crazy place to swim. So sorry.
 

FamPed

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
RIP pilgrim. My condolences to his loved ones.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19 ,May 2020
I saw this as well... more here in La Voz:


Rest in peace.
Initial reports in some media outlets had indicated that Timothy had been swimming and got into difficulties, but his mother said that these were incorrect.
She explained that pilgrims who undertake what is known as the final leg of the Camino, from Santiago to Finistierre, carry out a washing-of-feet ritual at the seaside location.
"He was standing on a bank and the bank went, and he was lost to us," she said.
Timothy had been walking with his friends for a week before reaching Finistierre and was due home the Friday evening after the tragedy struck.
Before he set out on the Camino, he had been in the region on his own visiting museums and looking at the architecture.
"He wasn't very touristy, but he loved architecture and visiting museums," said Mrs Kelleher. "He had been talking about doing this walk for two years."
 

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