A GARDA investigation is underway in Crosshaven, following the discovery of a car found submerged in the water near Hugh Coveney Pier.
While it is expected that it will take some time to investigate the find, there are hopes that it may help provide answers in relation to the disappearance of a young man from the area 17 years ago.
The vehicle was discovered in the river bed on Wednesday, when the Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery unit were conducting a routine trial of a new sidescan sonar unit known as a 'StarFish'.
When the scanner identified a possible item in the Owenabue river, divers from the unit investigated further and discovered the vehicle.
Gardaí were called to the scene on Wednesday evening and yesterday the Garda Sub Aqua team arrived to begin a detailed search of the area.
It is understood the car found matches the description of a rust-coloured Toyota Corolla hatchback owned by Barry Coughlan, a fisherman who has been missing from the area since 2004.
Gardaí say they are continuing their enquiries to establish the identity of the vehicle and have not confirmed details of the find.
The car is believed to be in a brittle state.
Barry Coughlan, a fisherman from Crosshaven, was last seen outside the Moonduster Bar in the harbour town at 1.30am on May 1, 2004. He was 23 years old.
He had started a job as a fisherman in Castletownbere a short time before he disappeared and had come home for the weekend.
When he disappeared, the family hoped he would turn up in Castletownbere for work. He had been due back on Sunday afternoon, May 2 — a day after his last sighting.
But he didn’t, and his car has not been seen since his disappearance either, despite exhaustive searches by his family, friends and gardaí.
His family have issued regular appeals for his information since his disappearance. They said his disappearance was completely out of character for him and was totally unexpected, as nothing about him suggested that he was thinking of leaving and he did not appear to have any troubles.