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Department Accepts Recommendations in MCIB Tit Bonhomme Report

8th April 2013
Department Accepts Recommendations in MCIB Tit Bonhomme Report

The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport has accepted all five recommendations from the MCIB report in the 2012 sinking of the Tit Bonhomme trawler published today.

The Irish Registered motor fishing vessel "MFV Tit Bonhomme" left Union Hall, Glandore, Co. Cork on Friday the 13th of January 2012 on a fishing trip with a crew of six.  The vessel experienced some technical difficulties during the fishing trip and the Skipper decided to return to port.  On its return to the port of Union Hall in the early morning of the 15th January 2012 the vessel stranded on Adam's Island at the entrance to Glandore Harbour.  The vessel broke up with the loss of five of its six crew.

The full report is available to download as a 6mb PDF document here.

The recommendations serve to highlight the importance of adopting a rigorous safety culture at sea. All five recommendations have either been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport has today published its response to the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into the sinking of the Tit Bonhomme.

The purpose of an MCIB report is to investigate a marine incident, and to make recommendations to the Minister in order to prevent a recurrence. The MCIB's independence from the Department is enshrined in law.

The Department's response to the five safety recommendations contained in the report is as follows:

6.1 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport enforces the European Community (Workers on board sea-going fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations, 2003 (S.I.709 of 2003).

6.2 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport enforces the Merchant Shipping (Safety of Fishing Vessels) (15-24 Metres) (Regulations) S.I. No. 640 of 2007 in relation to musters and drills.

The Department introduced an updated fishing vessel logbook for Irish registered fishing vessels of 25 tons or upwards from the January 1st 2013. Use of the logbook is being enforced at vessel surveys and inspections addresses, generating a safety management culture on-board Irish registered fishing vessels.

6.3 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport considers amending the requirements to provide for the automatic change-over of electrical power supplies for the radio installation in the event of an emergency.

The cost of technology to provide an automatic switch-over is now available at a reasonable price to vessels. Reference to this technology is being included in the next revision of SI(2007) 640 and fishing vessels will be required to adopt the technology when they fall due for survey.

6.4 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport considers the possible fitting of Bridge Navigation Watchkeeping Alarm Systems (BNWAS) on-board fishing vessels.

The Department fully supports fitting vessels with these systems. BNWAS is already mandatory for cargo ships and passenger ships. An Bord Iascaigh Mhara is proposing to provide funding for the voluntary fitting of these systems, which are mainly relevant for fishing vessels greater than 15m length overall.

6.5 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport considers issuing a Marine Notice drawing Owners/Skippers attention to the necessity for Skippers encountering situations where the safety of the vessel and its crew are potentially put at risk to alert the appropriate shore authorities advising them of the situation and what assistance the vessel may require.

The Department will shortly issue a Marine Notice to address this recommendation.

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said: "I want to extend my sympathies to families and friends of the deceased. We owe it to them and everyone using the sea to embrace a culture of safety at sea and ensure that similar incidents do not re-occur in the future. I also want to thank the MCIB for its thorough investigation."

Published in MCIB
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