The trial of 44-year-old father of two, Stephen McKinney, accused of murdering his wife during an Easter family boating holiday on Lower Lough Erne, heard on Thursday her body was spotted close to their hire cruiser.

Dungannon Crown Court has already heard that 35-year-old Mrs. Lu Na McKinney was pulled from the Fermanagh lough on the western shore of Devenish Island in the early hours of April 13, 2017 after her husband phoned for help.

Mr. McKinney, originally from Strabane, but living with her and their children in Convoy, Donegal, but now with an address in Castletown Square, Fintona, Tyrone, denies her murder.

Today (Monday) one of the first police officers on the tragic scene said he and a colleague had rushed from Enniskillen police station on their launch Lady Grey. He said as he drew close to the moored hire cruiser, Noble Cadet, he could see "a black object" in the water.

He said as they approached the hire cruiser he could see a male standing at the rear of the vessel and he called out to him.

"I shouted to the man, asking him where she had entered the water ... where did she go in?" but got no reply and: "I had to repeat it to get an answer".

He said the man, Mr. McKinney was on his phone standing at the rear of the hire cruiser wrapped in a red blanket.

The officer said he shone his torch around the boat and on the water and he "saw a black object at the back of the moored-up boat".

He said having seen the 'object' in the water his colleague had to manoeuvred their boat into position so he could get on to the jetty as the brow was too high facing the Noble Cadet. He said he took a boat hook from the police launch with him.

Having got on to the cruiser, he went to the rear and he "could see the black object in the water... I could see it was a coat, a black coat with a fur-trimmed hood.

"I saw what appeared to be a hand just under the surface of the water.... I used the boat hook from the police boat to bring this coat towards me... it was a person."

The officer said as he was doing so, the RNLI life boat arrived and one of the crew joined him on the Noble Cadet to help him who "assisted me to remove the casualty from the water.

"It was a female around 30 years of age of Asian origin and I believed clothed in a pair of pyjamas. She was quite pale," he told the court.

Mrs. McKinney's body was placed on the jetty where rescue breaths were administered together with oxygen from a tank and mask before CPR was commenced. The officer said he "noticed there were bubbles" coming from her mouth.

Eventually Mrs. McKinney was rushed by the RNLI boat to the nearby Trory jetty where a waiting ambulance transferred her to hospital. On his return to the cruiser he told Mr McKinney he too should go to the hospital for a check-up as he'd been in the water, but he refused several times, before agreeing to do so.

He told the court Mr. McKinney was still on his phone when they arrived and was standing with a blanket wrapped tightly around him. He said the weather was good and there was very little wind and the water condition calm.

Under cross examination by defence QC Martin O'Rourke, the constable agreed that he had asked for a second ambulance for Mr. McKinney because he felt he was showing signs of shock and hypothermia.

Later the driver of the police launch said he too saw "a body in the water" dressed in what appeared to be a puffa-type jacket with a fur hood. He said as his colleague was pulling on the body with a boat hook he saw "a hand".

Later he described Mr McKinney asking "where's Lu Na ... where's Lu Na". The officer said he asked him about the children and Mr. McKinney told him they were asleep and "were unaware of what had happened".

In cross-examination he agreed in his statement about what occurred, he advised Mr McKinney to change out of his wet clothing and that he was "in shock and I advised him to change his clothing".

The officer further agreed that Mr. McKinney repeatedly asked for his wife, "where's Lu Na" and that he told him he thought he, Mr. McKinney, needed to be examined and was in shock and was pacing up and down in the cabin.

He too agreed that when he said the body was face down in the water, he only realised it was a body when it was taken out of the water. The officer said when Mr McKinney asked about the whereabouts of his wife repeatedly, he'd also said: "Lu Na never leaves without her phone."

However, he said he could not make much sense out of what he was saying.

At hearing.