The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport reminds fishing crews of the dangers associated with boarding and transiting across vessels, especially under the influence of alcohol.
The move is in response to recent reports from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), which found that alcohol was a factor in two unrelated incidents in Killybegs, Co Donegal in March 2019 and Rosslare, Co Wexford in May 2019, as reported by Lorna Siggins on Afloat.ie last month.
The notice also reminds of the duty of care on the part of owners and skippers “to provide a safe means of access to vessels while in the harbour and that a gangway or other suitable means, providing an appropriate and safe means of boarding a vessel, shall be made available”.
In addition, all those accessing vessels or working on exposed decks “whether at sea, in harbour or combing two and from moorings” must wear a personal flotation device, or PFD, which “will increase your chance of survival in the event of entering the water”.
The department highlights the risks associated with the consumption of alcohol and/or drug consumption and the dangers associated with boarding and transiting across vessels.
“It is evident from the recent MCIB reports that alcohol consumption continues to be a significant factor in marine incidents,” it says.
“A number of incidents have occurred where diminished human performance due to the effects of alcohol consumption have been primary causes or contributing factors, leading to the loss of life in some cases.
“Alcohol speeds up the rate of body cooling and thus increases the risk of hypothermia in the event that you fall into the water.”
Marine Notice No 25 of 2020 is available to download below.