Displaying items by tag: Tramore Bay
#DeanLeanne - Jury members have returned a verdict of "misadventure" in the deaths of three brothers after their fishing boat sank off Co Waterford more two years ago.
At the inquest yesterday (Thursday 5 November) into the tragedy that befell the MFV Dean Leanne on 12 June 2013, it was heard that brothers Paul, Shane and Kenny Bolger from Passage West died by drowning in the wake of their lobster boat suddenly going under.
Speaking after the inquest, according to Irish Independent, the Bolger family's solicitor Emmet Halley described their loss as an "unspeakable tragedy".
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board's (MCIB) report on the incident found a series of poor safety practices on the Bolgers' vessel on top of a malfunctioning EPIRB radio of a model later recalled by its manufacturer.
The inquest in Tramore heard that search and rescue teams were not notified till the brothers' uncle, also a fisherman, set out to look for them late in the day after seeing them depart Dunmore East by chance that morning.
Their boat itself was only rated to carry two crew, said the MCIB's findings, while its fibreglassed hull was found to have "extensive rot and decay".
Only two of the brothers were found to be wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) when their bodies were recovered, and neither of these was well maintained, the report added.
They were later named locally as brothers Paul, Shane and Kenny Bolger, all aged in their 40s.
Dunmore East RNLI coxswain Michael Griffin commented that the tragedy was "a devastating loss for the community."
He added: "I knew the men personally and had been at school with two of them. They were well known and respected by everyone."
The Marine Casualty Investigation Board's (MCIB) report into the fatal incident involving the MFV Dean Leanne, published this week, has found that a series of safety breaches contributed to the loss of the three men's lives.
Their small open vessel – which was rated to carry only two crew, and did not carry a valid Declaration of Comlpliance with the Fishery Vessel Safety Code of Practice – had headed out before 7am on the day to tend to lobster pots between Falskirt Rock and Brownstown Head.
This was in an area where the boat was not certified to operate, and where the sea conditions grew worse as the day progressed. The brothers had also not provided details of their trip with anyone ashore.
The fibreglassed exterior of the vessel was noted to be in poor condition with "extensive rot and decay" that would result in "reduced structural integrity" - putting boat and crew at risk as the swell built up.
Though it cannot be established exactly how the vessel came to capsize and throw the three overboard, it's believed whatever happened "occurred very quickly as no MAYDAY was transmitted by VHF radio or flares."
Two of the three men were found to be wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) though only one of these was of the automatic hydrostatic release type, the other being manually operated and found still in its protective cover.
Both PFDs were also poorly maintained, with leaks in their air bladders.
The boat's EPIRB device, meanwhile, did not emit a signal to emergency services despite being found to have been manually operated, and subsequently coming into contact with water.
It was later found to have a defective microprocessor, and was one of a number of models for which its manufacturer later issued a recall notice, though family of the deceased confirm the handset was tested in the month before the incident.
#tramoredrownings – The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD has expressed his deep shock and sadness on hearing of the deaths of Paul, Kenny and Shane Bolger in a tragic accident yesterday at Tramore Bay.
The three men were, he said, "well known and respected in the Dunmore East area". The Minister added that "between them they had a vast amount of experience as fishermen".
He went on to say that "his thoughts were with the families of Paul, Kenny and Shane Bolger and indeed also with the local and wider community".
He added "The fishing community knows only too well the daily challenges and dangers faced by its members but nothing can prepare any family for a tragedy such as this".
The Minister paid tribute to the Dunmore East & Tramore Lifeboat crews as well as the Coastguard who, he said "are unfortunately all too familiar with tragedies such as this".