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Investigation into Collision off Kerry Coast Last Weekend

16th October 2019
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The smashed in the bow of the 37m  (121 ft) French vessel, Kirrixki after it collided with a 229m  (751ft) cargo ship The smashed in the bow of the 37m (121 ft) French vessel, Kirrixki after it collided with a 229m (751ft) cargo ship

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has confirmed that it is liaising with several flag states over a collision off the Kerry coast last weekend writes Lorna Siggins

One fisherman was injured in the massive impact, which smashed in the bow of the 37m (121 ft) French vessel, Kirrixki when it collided with a 229m (751ft) cargo ship.

The incident occurred shortly after 1 am on Saturday, October 12th, some 37 nautical miles north-west of Valentia island.

Valentia Coast Guard tasked the RNLI Valentia all-weather lifeboat after it was notified of a collision at sea, with no further details at the time.

Fortunately, the smaller vessel was still afloat, but one of nine crew on board had sustained suspected spinal injuries.

The cargo ship was a Chinese bulk carrier named Hua Sheng Hai, en route to Aughinish Alumina in the Shannon estuary from Guinea.

South-west winds were force three to four at the time, with a four-metre swell, and it was considered too risky to attempt a boarding.

A decision was taken to escort the Kirrixki into Dingle harbour, where the injured man was immobilised and transferred to an ambulance.

RNLI Valentia lifeboat spokeswoman Shelly Curran said that the combination of swell and the nature of the injuries was such that it was felt safer to keep the injured man on the fishing vessel.

“We kept in contact with the crew at all times when them in,” Ms Curran explained.

The injured man was taken to University Hospital Kerry by National Ambulance Service personnel for further medical attention.

Valentia lifeboat coxswain Richard Quigley, who was at sea with his volunteer crew for seven hours, said the fishing vessel “made the right decision in calling for help to ensure the casualty received the proper medical treatment”.

The MCIB said this week it is “liaising with French and Hong Kong authorities” in relation to investigating the circumstances,

The Department of Transport said that it understood that the collision occurred outside of Irish waters, and there were no Irish-flagged vessels involved.

It confirmed that the matter “falls to the respective flag states” under international maritime law.

The Kirrixki, which is registered in Bayonne, south-west France, remained in Dingle harbour at the weekend.

Published in MCIB
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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