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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Kill Cord

Marine Industry News reports on an incident in Florida recently where a man was thrown overboard from his motorised dinghy which then went out of control.

According to the Miami Herald, the incident last Monday (12 April) at Fisherman’s Channel off Miami saw the boat “spun furiously in circles, like an angry hornet doing donuts in the water” after its pilot was flung from the vessel and subsequently rescued by another boater.

Emergency responders managed to bring the runaway dinghy under control by tangling the prop of its outboard motor.

The incident comes less than three weeks after new legislation mandating the use of kill cords and engine cut-off switches on recreational vessels came into force in the United States, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Water Safety
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In the United States, all operators of recreational vessels under 26 feet in length will soon be required to use an engine cut-off switch and kill cord under newly passed legislation.

Kill cords are essentially safety tethers that cut power to a boat’s engine when its operator is displaced from the helm, whether by being thrown overboard or some other circumstance.

There are also now ‘wireless’ versions that use an electronic fob instead of a physical cord, and activate when submerged in water in a similar manner to an EPIRB.

According to the USA’s National Safe Boating Council, the new law — which comes into force on 1 April — was prompted by regular reports of boaters who fall or are unexpectedly thrown from their vessels which then run out of control.

“These dangerous runaway vessel situations put the ejected operator, other users of the waterway, and marine law enforcement officers and other first responders in serious danger,” it adds.

However, the US Coast Guard understands that the “overwhelming majority” of recreational vessels produced for decades have had an an engine cut-off switch installed “so this new use requirement simply obligates recreational vessel operators to use critical safety equipment already present on their boat”.

In the UK, the RYA already recommends the use of kill cords, and in Ireland they are also recommended in the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft.

Published in Water Safety
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27th December 2014

Making A Better Kill Cord

#KillCord - Kill cords are an invaluable safety feature for both professional and leisure boat helms, but the system is far from perfect. It's easy to neglect to attach them, as was the case in last year's RIB tragedy in Cornwall, and sometimes they can malfunction, causing a boat to go out of control.

But there are a number of alternative solutions on the market that aim to make the use of kill cords as seamless as possible, as Motor Boat & Yachting reports.

The key to ease of use is wireless - a radio transmitter that you can wear as a clip or lanyard and never have to worry about it, as the engine is cut off automatically as soon as you're out of range.

Two wireless solutions are already available, however they are by no means foolproof, relying on batteries for power. MBY readers have already suggested a significant improvement, using RFID tags to make even smaller transmitters that don't need a power source, but even that comes with its own cons.

Motor Boat & Yachting has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety
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#KillCord - An "exceptionally unusual" tight turn at high speed led to the death of a father and daughter and the serious injury of other family members in a tragic speedboat accident off Cornwall last year.

The Guardian reports on the conclusions of the official investigation into the incident on 5 May in which BSkyB executive Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter Emily were struck and killed by the family's runaway RIB after being thrown overboard in the waters between Rock and Padstow.

It was previously found that the driver of the speedboat was not attached to the 'kill cord' that would have automatically shut off the engine. Instead, the boat continued to circle with its engine running, striking the family as they floated in the water.

Milligan's wife Victoria and four-year-old son Kit both sustained what were described by police as "life-changing injuries".

It has since emerged via the findings of the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report that Victoria had been driving the boat in a slow wide turn when her husband reached across her to steer the boat hard to starboard at full speed.

The report added that "the manner in which Mr Milligan took the helm appears to have been out of character as he was known to be a safety conscious and prudent individual."

However, it was also found that the Milligans did not have a "good understanding" of how the speedboat would handle high-speed turns, nor were they aware of the hazards of their children being at the unstable front of the RIB.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in RIBs
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#KillCord - An official report into the tragic speedboat accident in Cornwall earlier this month that killed a father and daughter says that the driver was not attached to the boat's 'kill cord'.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, BSkyB executive Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter Emily were struck by the family's runaway RIB after being thrown overboard from the vessel on the afternoon of Sunday 5 May.

Four other family members were struck by the runaway boat as it circled in the water off Padstow. Nick's wife Victoria and four-year-old son Kit are recovering after sustaining "life-changing" leg injuries.

Police were reportedly investigating the role played in the incident by the boat's kill cord or safety lanyard, a device attached to the throttle that should automatically cut engine power if the driver is thrown from the vessel.

Now The Guardian reports the Marine Accident Investigation Branch's (MAIB) conclusion that the 8m Cobra RIB was fitted with a kill cord, but it was not attached to the driver.

It has not yet been determined who was driving the speedboat at the time of the accident, nor is it clear how the family was thrown from the vessel.

The report added: "The kill cord serves only one purpose, to stop the engine when the driver moves away from the controls.

"To ensure that this tragic accident is not repeated it is essential that all owners and operators of vessels ensure they are fitted with kill cords."

Published in RIBs

#KillCord - Police in Cornwall investigating the deaths of a father and daughter in a speedboat accident off Padstow at the weekend are focusing on the boat's 'kill cord', according to BBC News.

BSkyB executive Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter were struck by the family's runaway Cobra RIB after losing control of the vessel and being thrown overboard.

Four other family members in the water struck by the 8m-long boat were hospitalised, with the BBC reporting that Milligan's wife Victoria and four-year-old son Kit suffered "serious, potentially life-changing injuries".

Witnesses describe the speedboat circling to hit the family after turning sharply and throwing them into the water, then continuing to run around in circles before it was stopped by local waterskiing instructor Charlie Toogood who jumped on board.

Investigators are looking closely at the kill cord or safety lanyard, a device attached to a boat's throttle that should automatically cut engine power if the boat's pilot goes overboard.

A malfunctioning kill cord was identified in an incident in Cork Harbour last summer in which a RIB pilot lost an arm after he was thrown overboard and subsequently struck by his runaway vessel, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Months before, an angler died and another was treated for hypothermia after being thrown overboard and separated from their vessel, a result of neither man using the kill cord on their boat's engine.

Published in RIBs

#MCIB - A man who lost his arm when he fell overboard from his boat in Cork Harbour last summer could have avoided the accident if he had followed essential safety precautions, according to the official report into the incident. The full report is available to download below as a PDF document.

Owen Corkery of Carrigaline was the subject of a 'miracle rescue' on 9 June 2012 when he was thrown overboard from his RIB, which subsequently struck him several times after he entered the water near Haulbowline Island, causing serious injuries to his head, back and left arm.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the RNLI said Corkery was "incredibly lucky to have been spotted from the shore" by a man now known to be Paul Bryans, who had been looking through a telescope at Fort Camden in Crosshaven approximately a mile away from the site of the incident.

Bryans and colleague Dick Gibson immediately raised the alarm with the emergency services and Crosshaven RNLI respectively, and rescue crews were dispatched within minutes.

While the lifeboat volunteers took control of the wayward RIB, Corkery was quickly retrieved from the water by the crew of the Cork Harbour Pilot boat Sonia. They found him incoherent and bleeding heavily, and also noted that while he was wearing a working personal flotation device (PFD), he was not wearing warm clothes or shoes.

Corkery was transferred via ambulance to Cork University Hospital, where his left arm was later amputated just above the elbow due to the severity of his injuries.

According to the official report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), the RIB was found to be undamaged but had no CE or other approval mark.

The kill cord on the boat's motor was also found to be malfunctioning, as the engine could be started whether or not it was attached, and did not shut off when removed.

The report states that Corkery - an experienced powerboat user who had not completed any recognised handling course - has since explained he was aware of the kill cord malfunction but continued to use the vessel.

He confirmed in the same interview with investigators that he was standing beside the helm of the RIB at the time of the incident, a position that "would have made him considerably more likely to be thrown from the vessel".

Investigators also found it likely that Corkery's lack of shoes would also have reduced his grip while standing on the floor of the RIB.

In its conclusions, the MCIB report - which is available to download below - emphasises that the kill cord is an "essential part of safety equipment for all open motorboats" that should always be used and checked regularly, and that the helm of any high-speed watercraft should always remain seated, even at low speeds.

It also recommends that all pleasure craft owners should complete a recognised powerboat handling course.

Published in MCIB

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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