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Displaying items by tag: MCIB

#RAMBLER 100 - The "dramatic and catastrophic" failure of the keel on the Fastnet Race yacht Rambler 100 triggered a series of events that ultimately delayed the rescue of the crew, according to the official report into the capsize.

Among the conclusions of the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) were that the upturned vessel would have been visible from a much greater distance by rescue crews had the hull been painted with a bright colour.

The report also advised yachtsmen to look out for signs of keel failure on one-off design yachts, many of which in previous cases were found to be caused by weld fractures.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Rambler 100 capsized shortly after rounding Fastnet Rock during the 2011 edition of the Fastnet Race on 15 August last year.

Sixteen of the 21-strong crew managed to climb onto the upturned hull, while the other five were later picked up from the water after drifting away from the vessel. Photos of the rescue of the yacht's crew are available HERE.

The MCIB report found that the 100-foot racing yacht capsized very quickly once the keel had fractured, surprising the crew and leaving them no time to react other than to get to safety.

Because of this, a number of opportunities that may have hastened their rescue were missed, the report outlines.

Firstly, a 'Mayday' broadcast via the yacht's installed VHF received no response, possibly because the mast was quickly underwater. The navigator's handheld VHF radio was also lost while he was swimming out of the capsizing vessel.

It was noted that two grab bags containing EPIRBs were stored under the navigator's seats port and starboard which proved inaccessible once the boat was capsizing. The report concludes that had such equipment been located within reach of the companion way or by the helm, it would have proved easier for one of the crew to grab before leaving.

Two liferafts stored in containers on the aft deck were also inaccessible with the hull inverted. An alternate method of releasing them from their storage box would have made it possible to launch at least one of the rafts, the report asserted.

It was found that the leverage of the water ballast tanks contributed to the rapid inversion of the vessel once the boat lay on her side in the water. This left no time for the off-watch crew below deck at the time of the incident to reach either foul weather gear or personal flotation devices (PFDs).

The report also recommended that an escape hatch would have aided the off-watch crew's escape from the upturned hull, though thankfully they were able to remove themselves from below deck without becoming tangled in loose ropes or other equipment.

Although each crew member was issued with a safety pack containing a PLB and strobe light, only two were available to those on the upturned hull, and none to the five who drifted away. The report states that it "would have greatly aided the rescue services had each of the survivors carried their own PLB and activated it on entering the water".

Moreover, it was found that incomplete registration information for the two PLBs that were activated caused some confusion as to the identity of the vessel in distress, and led to a delay of around an hour before a full-scale search ad rescue operation was launched.

The report did not investigate the reason for the keel failure, only the fact that it caused the capsize, and that further analysis on the keel is being carried out by the appropriate authorities.

The MCIB also outlines a list of safety recommendations based on its conclusions which have been made primarily to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) for inclusion in its special regulations for future offshore racing events.

The full report is available to download via the link below.

Published in MCIB

#WATER SAFETY - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has published a Marine Notice addressed to all pleasure and recreational craft owners, masters and users to remind the public of the law in relation to being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when operating or being on board a vessel in Irish waters.

The 2010 Annual Report of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) highlighted the dangers inherent in excessive alcohol consumption while on board or operating a vessel and emphasised the relevant legislation under the Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations.

While operating a pleasure craft, being towed or on board any floating vessel, it is against the law to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any combination of drugs or of drugs and alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the craft.

It is also against the law to consume alcohol or drugs in circumstances which could affect the safety of others on board or others using Irish waters, or create a disturbance on board or be a nuisance to others using Irish waters.

It is a requirement for the master or owner of a pleasure craft to take all reasonable steps to ensure that persons comply with the regulations.

The Maritime Safety Act 2005 also contains a range of provisions relating to the prohibition on operating a vessel in Irish waters while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the breaking of which can lead to fines of up to €5,000 and up to three months' imprisonment.

Full details are outlined in Marine Notice No 56 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#MARINE NOTICE - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) draws mariners' attention to the official report on the sinking of the fishing boat Ainmire and its recommendations for safety on board all fishing vessels.

As reported in September last year on Afloat.ie, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board found that a breach in the engine compartment caused the Ainmire to take on water and sink off the coast of Scotland in April 2011.

The report concluded that the failure of a sea water cooling pipe in the engine room was the most likely cause of the flooding, and noted that the pipework had not been renewed during the life of the vessel.

Investigators also noted that the bilge pump was located under the floor plates in the engine room as was this inoperable when the water level rose in the compartment.

Marine Notice No 58 of 2012 - a PDF of which is available to read and download HERE - reminds fishing vessel operators that large sea-water inlets in engine rooms make their boats vulnerable to severe flooding if they fail.

It is recommended that these pipes should be checked for corrosion every year, especially around the welded joint at the hull. Ultrasonic thickness testing of the pipework should also be considered.

Moreover, such pipework can be eroded quickly by stray currents, so electrical equipment should be checked regularly, while the location of bilge pumps in the engine room should be carefully considered

Published in Fishing

#MCIB REPORT– A report investigating the grounding of the Arklow Raider (2007/2,999grt) at the mouth of the River Boyne in 2010, was published yesterday by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB).

The 89m general cargoship managed by Arklow Shipping Ltd had docked in Drogheda on 10th November to discharge a full cargo and this was followed by loading cement in bulk.

The Dutch built vessel remained in the Co. Louth port until she departed on the evening tide of the 16th November, however as the vessel passed the bar at the entrance to the River Boyne, it took to the ground and became fast.

The vessel was successfully re-floated on 19th November. Once afloat, checks were made and the vessel was towed to Dublin. At Dublin, the cargo was transhipped to another vessel and the vessel entered dry dock in the port for repairs to the hull and steering gear. Nobody was injured and no pollution occurred.

To read the report in full, copies in PDF format are available to download from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended that the Government review standards for activity centres involved in marine sports, following its report into an incident off Co Louth in May 2011.

Seven sixth-class pupils from St Brigid's Girls National School in Glasnevin were stranded in the water when their kayaks capsized in rough conditions near the Neptune Outdoor Centre in Clogherhead on 26 May last year.

Six of the girls were rescued by the RNLI Clogherhead lifeboat, while a seventh who had been separated from the group managed to reach the shore with some difficulty. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Among its findings, the MCIB concluded that as it had no official affiliation with either the Irish Sailing Association or the Irish Canoe Union, the Neptune Outdoor Centre - which has since ceased trading - was effectively unregulated with no monitoring of staff or operations.

It was also found that the instructor on the day had no formal qualifications in taking charge of a group of young people on the water, despite many years of experience in marine sports.

Moreover, there was no support boat available to mount a rescue attempt, a number of the pupils involved had ill-fitting buoyancy aids, and the weather conditions at the time of the incident were not conducive to taking a group of novices out on the water.

It was noted that some of the pupils involved credited a water safety course with helping them to take the right course of action when in the water, such as staying with their craft and floating with the waves on their backs.

The MCIB recommends that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport reviews the existing arrangements for marine-based activity centres, and in particular develop standards for safety management (including weather checks, pupil-to-teacher ratio, etc), safety equipment (lifejackets, VHF radios, etc) and instructor qualifications.

The full report is available as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#WATER SAFETY - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) addresses the legal requirements for all recreational craft owners, masters and users in relation to the wearing and carrying of personal flotation devices (PFDs).

The notice discusses the different types of PFDs - lifejackets and buoyancy aids - and their performance standards, as well as highlighting the importance of their use, proper care and servicing for safe activities on the water.

The law makes clear that there must be suitable PFDs for everyone on board any pleasure craft, and that PFDs must be worn by anyone the deck of any craft or on board any open craft that is under seven metres in lengh - or for people under the age of 16, any craft regardless of length.

Also detailed are recommendations for the storage of PFDs, and guidance for their correct usage.

The use of lifejackets and buoyancy aids is particularly important in light of the recent Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) recommendations on a number of incidents where their availability could have saved lives.

Full details are included in Marine Notice No 45 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#MCIB - Marine investigators have again highlighted the lack of lifejackets as contributing to loss of life in the official report into the capsizing of a fishing vessel off Co Wexford last year.

Crewman John Ennis was lost when the two-man vessel Na Buachaillí capsized and sank close to the shore in Waterford Estuary near Duncannon on 18 February 2011.

Skipper and owner Richard McNamara survived the incident. More than a month later, Ennis's body was recovered from the water on 21 March 2011. Neither man had been wearing a lifejacket despite all requisite safety equipment being available.

According to the report from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), the boat had been dredging for mussels in the estuary – using a custom gantry installed at the stern – when McNamara steered to port to make way for a merchant ship and the Waterford pilot boat which were coming down river.

Using a motorised winch, McNamara hoisted the dredge to which Ennis attempted to attach the line when the vessel began to list to starboard. The skipper returned to the winch controls but was unable to drop the dredge. He saw that Ennis was holding onto the dredge gantry, bracing himself against the list.

McNamara then tried to enter the wheelhouse to activate the EPIRB emergency beacon but the boat was now listing rapidly and he was forced by a rush of seawater into an area forward of the engine under the forward deck.

By a quirk of fate the water flow suddenly reversed and McNamara was thrown out of the wheelhouse, and he just managed to grab gold of a lifering mounted on the wheelhouse roof before swomming to shore to raise the alarm.

The vessel was later recovered by Naval divers who found no damage to the hull nor any evidence that the dredge or any other part of the boat has been snagged by something in the water.

Based on the evidence gathered by investigators, the most likely reason for the capsize was the result of instability resulting from the vessels position between the onshore wind and the outgoing tide, exacerbated by the vessel's higher than recommended breadth-to-depth ratio.

The listing was compounded by the boat's interconnected fuel tanks, while the distribution of the mussel catch on deck and the apparent starboard lean of the suspended dredge may have also played a role.

Echoing its recent reports into the drowning of three men on a fishing trip of West Cork in August 2010, as well as the loss of two lobstermen off Skerries in April 2011, the MCIB recommends that lifejackets be worn at all times while on a vessel.

It also notes that emergency beacons should be mounted outside the wheelhouse for better accessibility and preferably be of the automatic free-float type.

Additionally, the MCIB has called for proper authorisation of physical alteratuons to small fishing vessels that may affect stability, and recommends revisions of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport's (DTTAS) Code of Practice for such vessels under 15m in length with reference to stability, EPIRBs and life rafts.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - The bodies of two fishermen missing off Co Clare have been recovered, as The Irish Times reports.

Local divers found the remains shortly before lunchtime yesterday near Spanish Point as coastguard teams searched for a missing fishing boat.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Lady Eileen - with two crew on board - was due to return to Quilty on Monday evening.

Searchers discovered debris and diesel in the water near Spanish Point in the early stages of the search on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the body of a father-of-three from Clare Island in Co Mayo was recovered from the sea by local fishermen last night.

The man - whose name is being withheld till all relations have been informed - was reported missing by a relative after he failed to return from a fishing trip in his currach.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) is expected to open investigations into both incidents, as well as the death of John O'Leary of Allihies in West Cork, who lost his life after the Enterprise dinghy he was sailing with his son capsized off the Beara Peninsula on Monday.

Published in MCIB

#MARINE WARNING - Two recent Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) highlight the safety recommendations made in reports by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) earlier this year into separate small vessel accidents, one of which resulted in the death of two fishermen.

Marine Notice No 39 of 2012 details recommendations from the report into the Lady Linda tragedy off the coast of Skerries in North Dublin in April last year, which cost the lives of 26-year-old Ronan Browne and 41-year-old David Gilsenan.

In its investigation, the MCIB noted a number of contributary factors to the incident, such as weather conditions and wave height, the absence of lifejackets and the inaccessibility of emergency equipment.

The DTTAS is urging all fishermen to check weather conditions before any voyage and ensure that their vessel can cope with them safety. It also reiterates the legal obligation for fishermen to wear suitable personal flotation devices while on deck, and that the carriage of an EPIRB distress becaon is mandatory for all fishing vessels.

Meanwhile, Marine Notice No 40 of 2012 concerns the carriage of livestock aboard small vessels, after an incident on the MV Claire Buoyant off Beginish Island in Co Kerry in August a year ago that led to a cargo of 21 sheep being jettisoned overboard.

The MCIB report reminded that any vessel carrying livestock must be appropriately certified due to the dangers involved in transporting live cargo. It also recommended that such vessels develop a regular maintenance regime to check all fittings that are open to the sea, and to ensure that bilge pumps are free from blockage.

Published in Marine Warning

#MCIB REPORT - The inquiry into the drowning of three men on a fishing trip off West Cork in August 2010 has concluded that their deaths could have been avoided had they been wearing lifejackets.

Wolfgang 'Mike' Schmidt (70), Richard Harmon (69) and Wolfgang Schroder (62) died near Adrigole Harbour in Bantry Bay on 16 August 2010 after they entered the water to evade a fire that broke out on board Schmidt’s motor cruiser Castaway. A fourth man, Ed Dziato (47), survived the incident.

As reported last year on Afloat.ie, the coroner returned verdicts of accidental death due to drowning in all three cases. The inquest also heard that the cause of the fire was likely due to problems with electrical wiring on the boat.

Shipwright John Murphy, who had previously undertaken repairs on the Castaway, told the inquest that the wiring was in an untidy state, which was confirmed by Dziato.

The wiring was also reportedly connected directly to the battery without an isolation switch or fuse board, which compounded the problem when fire broke out.

All four men on board abandoned the boat without portable flotation devices, as these had been stowed forward of the wheelhouse which was quickly engulfed by the fire. An inflatable liferaft and two lifebuoys were also stowed in the same area.

The official report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) declared its opinion "that if all persons on board the craft had being wearing lifejackets or PFD’s at the time of entering the water, the water temperature was such that the outcome of this particular casualty would have been significantly different."

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB
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