Mum's agony as son missing in harbour

THE mother of a man missing after his dinghy capsized in Poole Harbour has spoken of her son with a “heart of gold”.

Fisherman Andrew Paul O’Neill was in the seven-foot tender with two other men when it went under in the harbour at around 10.15am on December 23.

The 33-year-old, who was born in Reading and has lived in Poole for a number of years, has not been seen since the incident, despite an extensive search.

Mum Maureen Rumbell, who now lives in Northern Ireland, said Mr O’Neill was supposed to be visiting her next month.

“On Facebook, he’s known as Crazy Digger,” she said.

“It’s just the nickname he’s been given. It stuck because he was forever digging for bait. It didn’t matter what the weather was doing, he’d be out there digging for worms. He took to fishing like a duck to water.”

Mr O’Neill, who has three brothers, has also lived in Bournemouth and London over the years.

He started his career as a fisherman by working part-time, but preferred it to any other job.

His mother said: “I found out on Sunday December 23, about 3pm.

“Honestly, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I last saw him about three years ago, but he was on the phone every day, texting or calling me. He has got a heart of gold – he’s a lovely man. He was worried about my health last year and he would forever be calling me to check I was alright.”

Police have appealed for any information about Mr O’Neill.

Mr O’Neill is 5ft 8in tall, and of slim build.

He has medium to dark brown hair, a bad scar on the back of his left hand, and a number of tattoos.

He also has a scar on his inner thigh from surgery as a baby.

To speak to police about this incident, call 101.

Comments (12)

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2:09pm Mon 31 Dec 12

mo1960 says...

it has taken me this long to name my son as i needed time to come to terms with the loss of my son there is no mystery surrounding this tragic accident as that is what it was an accident so please if you can not say something else i would like you to keep your comments to yourself
it has taken me this long to name my son as i needed time to come to terms with the loss of my son there is no mystery surrounding this tragic accident as that is what it was an accident so please if you can not say something else i would like you to keep your comments to yourself mo1960
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Mon 31 Dec 12

hatchepsut says...

andy was a really good friend of mine for many years and i am also devastated by what has happened. he was so supportive when i lost my children's dad earlier in the year and we spent a lot of time together this summer. i thought Maureen would like to know how much he spoke about her and how happy he was. he tried to call his mum last time we were out so i could meet her over the phone but he couldn't get hold of her, which is a shame. Maureen, my thoughts are with you at this time and if there is a way we can get in touch so i can help at all then i would like that too.

Andy, if you have moved on, i know you and rich will be back together carrying on the party. love you hun. xx
andy was a really good friend of mine for many years and i am also devastated by what has happened. he was so supportive when i lost my children's dad earlier in the year and we spent a lot of time together this summer. i thought Maureen would like to know how much he spoke about her and how happy he was. he tried to call his mum last time we were out so i could meet her over the phone but he couldn't get hold of her, which is a shame. Maureen, my thoughts are with you at this time and if there is a way we can get in touch so i can help at all then i would like that too. Andy, if you have moved on, i know you and rich will be back together carrying on the party. love you hun. xx hatchepsut
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Mon 31 Dec 12

mo1960 says...

thank you for you very kind words i am on fb if you are on fb on andys friends list then you will find me there and add me as a friend and i will give you my contact details maureen
thank you for you very kind words i am on fb if you are on fb on andys friends list then you will find me there and add me as a friend and i will give you my contact details maureen mo1960
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Tue 1 Jan 13

helen054 says...

My partner was also a very good friend of Andy's and dug with him everyday at one point, he is very upset at this tragic accident. My thoughts go out to you all at such a sad time xxx
My partner was also a very good friend of Andy's and dug with him everyday at one point, he is very upset at this tragic accident. My thoughts go out to you all at such a sad time xxx helen054
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Tue 1 Jan 13

portia6 says...

Sorry to hear of your sad loss.
Sorry to hear of your sad loss. portia6
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Wed 2 Jan 13

golding m says...

Can I point out a few inaccuracies that my birth mother has published in the echo that my other Brothers and I have found very disturbing and upsetting firstly Andrew Paul GOLDING not oneill as reported in the echo is his name secondly Maureen had all of us adopted giving up the right to be called our mother as she isn't we were brought up by different parents me and Andrew were adopted together into a loving home and raised into a loving family our other two brothers were separated from us and brought up separately to us and we all have the mental scars from Maureen unfortunately Andrews scars were deep and troubling so he left home at sixteen we both found Maureen when I was 18 and unfortunately it seems she doesn't want to know all of us and our children nowadays so for Maureen To be Devistated is unbelievable there are two families Mourning the passing of my brother let's not together that
Can I point out a few inaccuracies that my birth mother has published in the echo that my other Brothers and I have found very disturbing and upsetting firstly Andrew Paul GOLDING not oneill as reported in the echo is his name secondly Maureen had all of us adopted giving up the right to be called our mother as she isn't we were brought up by different parents me and Andrew were adopted together into a loving home and raised into a loving family our other two brothers were separated from us and brought up separately to us and we all have the mental scars from Maureen unfortunately Andrews scars were deep and troubling so he left home at sixteen we both found Maureen when I was 18 and unfortunately it seems she doesn't want to know all of us and our children nowadays so for Maureen To be Devistated is unbelievable there are two families Mourning the passing of my brother let's not together that golding m
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Wed 2 Jan 13

golding m says...

Can I point out a few inaccuracies that my birth mother has published in the echo that my other Brothers and I have found very disturbing and upsetting firstly Andrew Paul GOLDING not oneill as reported in the echo is his name secondly Maureen had all of us adopted giving up the right to be called our mother as she isn't we were brought up by different parents me and Andrew were adopted together into a loving home and raised into a loving family our other two brothers were separated from us and brought up separately to us and we all have the mental scars from Maureen unfortunately Andrews scars were deep and troubling so he left home at sixteen we both found Maureen when I was 18 and unfortunately it seems she doesn't want to know all of us and our children nowadays so for Maureen To be Devistated is unbelievable there are two families Mourning the passing of my brother let's not together that
Can I point out a few inaccuracies that my birth mother has published in the echo that my other Brothers and I have found very disturbing and upsetting firstly Andrew Paul GOLDING not oneill as reported in the echo is his name secondly Maureen had all of us adopted giving up the right to be called our mother as she isn't we were brought up by different parents me and Andrew were adopted together into a loving home and raised into a loving family our other two brothers were separated from us and brought up separately to us and we all have the mental scars from Maureen unfortunately Andrews scars were deep and troubling so he left home at sixteen we both found Maureen when I was 18 and unfortunately it seems she doesn't want to know all of us and our children nowadays so for Maureen To be Devistated is unbelievable there are two families Mourning the passing of my brother let's not together that golding m
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Wed 2 Jan 13

golding m says...

Can I point out a few inaccuracies that my birth mother has published in the echo that my other Brothers and I have found very disturbing and upsetting firstly Andrew Paul GOLDING not oneill as reported in the echo is his name secondly Maureen had all of us adopted giving up the right to be called our mother as she isn't we were brought up by different parents me and Andrew were adopted together into a loving home and raised into a loving family our other two brothers were separated from us and brought up separately to us and we all have the mental scars from Maureen unfortunately Andrews scars were deep and troubling so he left home at sixteen we both found Maureen when I was 18 and unfortunately it seems she doesn't want to know all of us and our children nowadays so for Maureen To be Devistated is unbelievable there are two families Mourning the passing of my brother let's not together that
Can I point out a few inaccuracies that my birth mother has published in the echo that my other Brothers and I have found very disturbing and upsetting firstly Andrew Paul GOLDING not oneill as reported in the echo is his name secondly Maureen had all of us adopted giving up the right to be called our mother as she isn't we were brought up by different parents me and Andrew were adopted together into a loving home and raised into a loving family our other two brothers were separated from us and brought up separately to us and we all have the mental scars from Maureen unfortunately Andrews scars were deep and troubling so he left home at sixteen we both found Maureen when I was 18 and unfortunately it seems she doesn't want to know all of us and our children nowadays so for Maureen To be Devistated is unbelievable there are two families Mourning the passing of my brother let's not together that golding m
  • Score: 0

3:31pm Wed 2 Jan 13

helen054 says...

my thoughts are with you and your family also, its such a tragedy he was a great bloke with a big personality xx
my thoughts are with you and your family also, its such a tragedy he was a great bloke with a big personality xx helen054
  • Score: 0

10:46pm Wed 2 Jan 13

n jones says...

Well put M,
My hart go's out to you all,
Andrew was doing some thing he loved when he went missing.
Thanks to every one that help to try and rescue him.
My prayers are with every one involved.
xx
Well put M, My hart go's out to you all, Andrew was doing some thing he loved when he went missing. Thanks to every one that help to try and rescue him. My prayers are with every one involved. xx n jones
  • Score: 0

11:34pm Wed 2 Jan 13

be happy,dont worry says...

my thoughts go out to Andy's friends and family,I went to school with Andy and he was a great guy, and we often hung around the beach in the summer, lost contact with you after school which was a shame ,
Thinking of you my friend xxx
my thoughts go out to Andy's friends and family,I went to school with Andy and he was a great guy, and we often hung around the beach in the summer, lost contact with you after school which was a shame , Thinking of you my friend xxx be happy,dont worry
  • Score: 0

2:55am Thu 3 Jan 13

s jones84 says...

yer well said mark. I did find some of what has been put upsetting but as mark said we where adopted in to loving family's witch r still as loving today.and they love me and they love my little girl and mark is right you did give up the right to be called our mother but i just dont understand why you have to put stuff like this in the paper about andrew witch are not true its like your in your own little world you only care about yourself you should try being in r shoes its even more heart renching. R.I.P andy where ever you may be love ya.
yer well said mark. I did find some of what has been put upsetting but as mark said we where adopted in to loving family's witch r still as loving today.and they love me and they love my little girl and mark is right you did give up the right to be called our mother but i just dont understand why you have to put stuff like this in the paper about andrew witch are not true its like your in your own little world you only care about yourself you should try being in r shoes its even more heart renching. R.I.P andy where ever you may be love ya. s jones84
  • Score: 0

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