Mr Topham, who was deeply involved in charitable and community causes in Kenmare and south Kerry, had gone out with a friend in a Canadian canoe.
The friends were travelling from Templenoe in Kenmare Bay towards an offshore island for a duck-hunting expedition in seemingly placid conditions.However, the canoe was capsized by a giant wave and both men were thrown into the freezing waters.
One managed to swim to Kelly's Island and raise the alarm. However, Mr Topham was unable to make it to safety and is believed to have drowned.A major search by the Irish Coastguard and RNLI was launched on Sunday and recommenced yesterday morning.
The body of the father of three was recovered by naval divers near Templenoe Pier, not far from where the canoe capsized.
So it was simply a case of the canoe being capsized by a "giant wave"! Was it a freaque wave? Probably yes, because it was clearly unexpected. At any rate the lost of this father is a definite tragedy in these early days of the new year. We can only pray for the family for their loss, may God's blessing be with them.