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The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) says the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) should take action to ensure skippers and people in charge of its racing yacht fleet review their crew training obligations.

The review should be conducted in the context of Irish Sailing rules, regulations and procedures, the MCIB says.

It is one of four recommendations it has issued to the RCYC in its report on the grounding of the Class 1 racer/cruiser Jelly Baby during the 2021 Autumn league series in Cork harbour.

No one was injured in the incident on October 24th, 2021, when nine crew were competing in the last race of the series.

However, the bowman went overboard, prompting a series of actions which highlighted a lack of man overboard (MOB) procedures being correctly followed, the MCIB says.

The report describes how “on rounding the third mark of the racecourse, W2 buoy, the crew were preparing to change sails when they encountered difficulties rigging a gennaker which is a type of downwind sail”.

“During efforts to overcome these difficulties the gennaker and the bowman went over the side of the yacht. The bowman was pulled back onboard by the crew but the gennaker became entangled around the keel, rudder and propeller and disabled the yacht,”it says.

“ The yacht luffed up to port towards the shore and shortly thereafter went aground on a lee shore (according to the skipper’s report to the MCIB) on Bull Rock at Weavers Point on the west side of the entrance to Cork harbour,”it says.

“ The bowman was successfully recovered and the crew were uninjured, but the yacht remained aground until floated on the following flood tide and was then towed to Crosshaven,”it says.

“The damage to the yacht was such that its insurers declared it to be a constructive loss (i.e. deemed a total loss). The yacht was repaired and the MCIB was advised it sails on Belfast Lough,”it says.

“The crewmember was wearing a personal flotation device ( PFD) but not a tether. As a result, the immediate focus of the skipper was on recovering the bowman. MOB procedures were not activated,”it says.

“ The sails were not released so the yacht kept driving forward. All the crewmembers except one rushed to the starboard to assist the bowman and to try and recover the gennaker. This led to the boat heeling even more to leeward. The effect of heeling the boat to leeward is to make it luff up into the wind,”it says.

“ The greater the angle of heel, the greater is the turning moment towards the wind direction, in this case towards the land. The crew responded to the emergency in a manner that evidenced the lack of a MOB procedure and appropriate training in that procedure,”it says.

Winds in the Roches Point area were fresh to strong Beaufort Force 5 or 6 southwesterly (mean wind speed 18 to 22 knots) with occasional gusts of 31 knots, the report says, and there was a small craft warning.

Visibility was generally good (greater than 5 nautical miles), and was moderate (2 – 5 nautical miles) in showers.

“Neither the weather conditions forecast and estimated by Met Éireann or assessed by the RCYC’s race officers were unusual for weather experienced in Cork Harbour in the Autumn and were not outside the design criteria for a RCD category ‘A’ designed yacht such as yacht Jelly Baby,”it says.

“ However, given the forecast and the Small Craft Warning, the race officer should have mandated the wearing of PFDs, and the skippers should have considered the use of tethers in particular, for bowmen,” it says.

The MCIB investigation examined video footage and outlined a number of measures the skipper could have taken, with events unfolding rapidly.

The report found key causative factors “leading to the putting at risk the bowman and crew and the grounding and loss of yacht Jelly Baby:

a) The crew’s response to sailing mishaps were not consistent with those to be expected from an appropriately trained yacht crew. The disruption initiated by a snagged halyard started the chain of events. This was followed by the bowman going over the side and hanging on while he was trying to retrieve the sail in the water.

b) Irrespective of the policy of Irish Sailing that reflects the issues around whether tethers should be worn or not and in what circumstances, it remain a fact that the bowman was not wearing a tether which led to the risk situation being far greater and contributed to the decisions that were made.

c) The crew were overwhelmed by these events and failed to react correctly in a prompt and efficient manner as was required in the situation. The absence of crew training to keep control of, or stopping, the yacht while appropriately coping with the mishaps as they occurred.

d) While the different interpretation and application of Tethered Man Overboard/MOB urged on the MCIB is noted, the absence of the initiation of a MOB procedure or crisis management outstretched the capability of the crew to effectively manage a succession of escalating mishaps.

e) absence of appropriate actions by the crew and their lack of training for these sort of events

The MCIB says it has been “urged by the RCYC (and by Irish Sailing) to assess the situation that occurred as not amounting to a MOB (or Man Overboard Tethered) as the bowman remained attached to the yacht”.

“No authority or source has been provided to support this interpretation. The MCIB has considered this but does not agree that this is the correct interpretation of the situation as it is clear that there was a MOB,”it says.

“ The absence of a practiced MOB procedure which would define the appropriate actions to be taken by the crew before the yacht struck the ground at Weavers Point, was a causative factor in the loss of yacht Jelly Baby,”it says.

The report notes that the skipper and the RCYC “stated that the crew were highly experienced and trained”.

“However, one mishap rapidly led to another, and these series of minor mishaps together with the lack of procedures to deal with the MOB situation overwhelmed the crew’s capability to cope and effectively control the yacht,”it says.

“The crew’s response to events subsequent to the initial snagged halyard mishap were not consistent with those to be expected from an appropriately trained team as the disruption in the crew’s performance overwhelmed their capability to manage these events,”it says.

It says that an RCYC report “also considers that the RCYC considered the training did not contribute in any way to the incident”.

“No recommendations are made in the RCYC report for any changes of practise. Nor is there any reference to the assessment of the weather, or the decision not to fly the Flag “Y”, or, to skippers giving consideration to the wearing of tethers,”the MCIB says.

The report issues four recommendations to the RCYC, also including facilitating and promoting a programme of crew training to enable crew to cope effectively with onboard crisis events and their management.

It says the RCYC should consider having an audit from time to time to verify that the crew on participating yachts (in particular those who are members of the club itself) have suitable and verifiable training and experience.

It says the RCYC should review the qualification of its panel of race officers in line with Irish Sailing grading, and should review its training of the assessment of, and procedures applicable to, weather conditions.

The MCIB says that Irish Sailing should consider the content of this report and the scope of sailing training in respect of man overboard to extend to general crew.

It says Irish Sailing “should also consider the introduction of refresher course/certification for skippers/yacht masters”, and “should continue to facilitate and promote a programme of crew training to enable crew to cope effectively with onboard crisis events and their management”.

It says the Minister for Transport should consider revision of the man overboard section in the Code of Practice: The Safe Operation of Recreational Craft, ensuring that it includes “tethered man overboard” guidance.

“It should be noted that Irish Sailing assisted the MCIB in the preparation of aspects of this report for which we are grateful,”it says.

Irish Sailing has advised the MCIB that it intends to “use this report as a learning opportunity, by establishing a cross functional team, across their relevant policy groups”.

This would facilitate consideration of “learning opportunities across the full range of sailing activities, the national implications and the practical implementations which may arise, taking into account international standards in safety, rules and training structures”, it says.

The full MCIB report is here

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The Department of Transport has issued a reminder to fishing vessel owners, skippers and crew of the safety requirements for the use of cranes and other lifting equipment on deck.

In comes after a recent Marine Casualty Invesigation Board (MCIB) report into an incident on the fishing vessel Aquila off the Co Cork coast in late 2021.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a crew member from the Philippines sustained crush injuries on the afternoon of 7 November 2021 when the vessel’s crane malfunctioned due to a loss of fluid from the main jib’s hydraulic cylinder.

MCIB investigators found that an adequate risk assessment was not made when the crane was first installed on the vessel. In addition, the crane operator’s elevated control position did not have a clear view of the crane’s workings.

Fishing vessel owners, employers and crew members are being reminded of the obligation to complete and document a thorough risk assessment of their operations in compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007), as amended by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 732 of 2007), the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 2 of 2020) and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 619 of 2021).

Of note is Chapter 2 of Part 2: Use of Work Equipment, especially the examination and testing of lifting equipment, having a safe system of work and maintaining accurate and complete up to date maintenance records and registers of lifting equipment onboard. See also the Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 published by the Health and Safety Authority.

Particular consideration should be given to the hazards associated with the operation of articulated deck cranes in deck areas presenting restricted observation of working areas and/or risk of collision with structural obstacles within the cranes lifting area.

Employers, skippers and crew members of fishing vessels are also reminded of the requirement for training for the operation of cranes, that crews should be made aware of the hazards associated with lifting equipment and heavy loads operating overhead, reminding them that cranes should be operated by trained and competent persons and reminding them that appropriate risk assessments are carried out prior to crane deck operations.

For more details, see Marine Notice No 24 of 2024 attached below.

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The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has said that a training session which went wrong on the river Corrib and resulted in the loss of two competitive rowing craft “posed a threat of death or serious injury” to those involved.

Fortunately, no lives were lost in the incident which occurred on January 14th, 2023, but the crew in two University of Galway rowing boats which were swept towards the Salmon Weir were novices with minimal experience.

New safety recommendations have been issued to eight rowing clubs after the MCIB identified that patterns of risky behaviour had become “normalised” and posed a threat to safety.

The incident occurred as University of Galway boats were approaching the end of their trip and saw other boats from Coláiste Iognáid heading upriver towards them.

One Coláiste Iognáid rowing boat with nine school teenagers was accompanied by a coach’s launch with two adults on board.

All craft steered towards the centre of the river to avoid a collision but this was in breach of “rules of the river”.

The vessels were now all in the river’s main current, with near-gale force westerly winds, and the two boats from the University of Galway Boat Club were swept towards the Salmon Weir where they capsized against safety booms.

The Coláiste Iognáid Rowing Club rowing craft subsequently capsized in reeds along the east bank, and all were rescued.

The MCIB criticised the university boat club for inadequate planning of a trip which took place in unsuitable weather and river conditions.

“A small craft warning and a gale warning were in effect from five hours before this rowing trip commenced, as winds of up to Force 8 were forecasted to occur along the western seaboard,” the report says.

It says the river conditions were also unsuitable for this rowing trip, as the river was in its normal winter spate conditions, with a high flow rate and a low water temperature.

“ These conditions existed for weeks before and after this casualty event. These conditions occurred in the vicinity of a significant weir, which the crews had to row past on both the outward and return legs,”it says.

“The high flow rate meant that the crews were unable to effectively control their boats, to change course away from the approaching weir. The low water temperature meant that the crews were exposed to the dangers of cold water immersion when their vessels capsized and they entered the water,”it says.

The MCIB notes that five incidents had occurred over the preceding two decades involving recreational boats at or above the weir.

The lack of a rescue vessel above the weir is also highlighted – the RNLI, Garda and Galway Fire and Rescue Service are located below the weir.

The full report is here

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The hazards of lost or discarded fishing gear has been highlighted in a Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into the loss of a yacht off Baltimore, Co Cork, last June.

All five on board were rescued, after their yacht, named Inish Ceinn, snagged a large trawl net off the west Cork coast and was then swept onto rocks.

The 12.85 metre Sun Odyssey 42i had departed from Baltimore, Co Cork on June 6th, 2023 at 14.00 hours, for a short voyage to Cape Clear island.

It says the skipper was a well-qualified and experienced yacht master and diver, who had made this voyage on numerous occasions.

There were three other experienced persons onboard and one guest. The weather was moderate from the east and the yacht was taken out of Baltimore harbour and then headed west on the planned course towards Cape Clear.

The planned course was around 0.5 miles from the southern shore of Sherkin island and at around 14.30 hrs the skipper felt the yacht slow down rapidly and turn into the wind. Nothing could be seen in the water, so the engine was started and propeller engaged.

The report says vibration was felt and a burning smell was noticed, so the engine was shut down and the yacht was immobilised. However, wind and swell quickly pushed the yacht towards the rocks and it ran aground.

Four of the people onboard were able to get onto the rocks and the skipper sent a “Mayday “ message on the VHF radio. He then also got onto the rocks.

The report says that at this stage the skipper noticed the hull was fouled with a large trawl net. The RNLI Baltimore lifeboat came to the rescue, along with the Irish Coast Guard R115 helicopter from Shannon.

All five were evacuated from the rocks by the lifeboat and taken back to Baltimore.

The report says the yacht broke up and was lost, but there were no serious injuries and no pollution.

The report notes that the yacht had just completed a refit and was launched for trials on June 5th, 2023. These trials were completed successfully and the yacht and all equipment onboard was reported to be fully operational.

It says the yacht was in good condition and well outfitted with all modern safety and navigation equipment and no defects were identified that may have led to or contributed to the casualty.

It says the skipper was experienced and qualified to operate this yacht, and was also qualified as a yachting instructor. The bowman was also experienced, and the two relatives were regular sailors on yachts and small boats.

It says the crewmembers lack of experience was not considered a factor.

The weather had been recorded as easterly winds, force 3-4, with a slight swell and low waves on departure from Baltimore on a rising tide.

The report says the discarded trawl net was the root cause of this casualty.

“Had this fishing gear been properly discharged ashore or had it been reported and recovered if accidentally lost, this incident could have been prevented,”it says.

“ The source of the net cannot be established as it had no tags and there is no record of it having been reported to any Irish authority,”it says.

It notes that the net should have been marked with tags as required by EU No. 404/2011 Article 11.

“ If the net was lost from a fishing vessel in Irish waters, it should have been reported under Marpol Annex V to the flag state as defined by article 48 of EU Regulation No. 1224/2009 to enable a navigation warning to be issued,”it notes, but “there was no such warning issued for the area”.

It says the net may or may not have been from an EU registered vessel. If not an EU registered vessel, it is still subject to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) which prohibits the deliberate dumping or discharge of fishing gear in the marine environment.

The report recommends that the Minister for Transport issue a marine notice which:

advises skippers of yachts navigating in areas which are known to have poorly marked fishing gear, lobster pots etc. that they should ensure the vessel's anchor is ready for immediate use;

advises fishers of the dangers of discarding nets from fishing vessels and sets out the obligatory regime on waste, plastics and recycling;

reminds fishers that if a net is lost, every effort must be made to recover it to enable it to be disposed of responsibly to shore reception facilities in accordance with the European Union (Port Reception Facilities for the Delivery of Waste from Ships) Regulations 2022 S.I. No. 351 of 2022;

reminds fishers that if a net cannot be recovered, the responsible authorities must be advised in accordance with Marpol Annex V so that a suitable navigational warning should be issued in the area where the net was lost;

reminds fishing vessel operators that they are required to record the discharge or loss of fishing gear in the Garbage Record Book or the ship's official logbook as specified in Regulations 7.1 and 10.3.6 of MARPOL Annex V. 2.2.2.

The MCIB report is here

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An incident where two crew members of a fishing vessel were asphyxiated during a fish tank cleaning operation could have had a “far more serious outcome” but for a number of factors, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has said.

These factors included proximity and response of emergency services and some actions of the crew, along with the short distance to a hospital accident and emergency department, the MCIB says.

The incident occurred on the 24-metre fishing vessel Ardent, owned by Orpen Fishing Company Ltd of Castletownbere, Co Cork on October 31st, 2022.

It had left Port Oriel, Clogherhead to pair with FV Cisemair on fishing grounds in the Irish Sea, and was underway when the watch was transferred from the skipper to another crewmember, allowing the skipper to conduct the fish tank cleaning in preparation for the filling and cooling of the seawater within the tanks.

Both the skipper and crewmember were removing fish/waste product trapped in various locations within the fish hold/tank with limited airflow via the deck coaming access hatch.

The report says that the first “casualty” was overcome while passing below the tank centre boards. The second “casualty” was overcome while checking the condition of the first “casualty” who was lying on the tank floor.

The investigation says that a mixture of rotting fish and seawater was held within sections of the refrigerated sea water (RSW) system piping, cooler and valve chest below the shelter-deck over a prolonged period (approximately 150 hrs), at a temperature of approximately 15°C.

This produced dangerous levels of toxic gases that may have included: hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide or carbon dioxide.

It says that both casualties were overcome by the toxic atmosphere when they lowered their heads into the “toxic pool”.

The vessel was turned around immediately, and returned to Port Oriel at a maximum speed of 9.4 knots before tidal constraints restricted access, while the Cisemar was asked to notify emergency services.

The vessel was brought alongside and secured with the aid of emergency services shore teams.

The two crew were treated in hospital, with one remaining in hospital for a number of weeks.

The MCIB recommends that the Minister for Transport should review the content of marine notices number 43 of 2016 and number 24 of 2009 and issue an updated marine notice warning crews on fishing vessels of the hazards associated with toxic gas generation and retention in RSW systems.

It makes other recommendations relating to enclosed space entry techniques, raising awareness of the correct use, maintenance and calibration of personal atmospheric monitoring systems, rescue equipment and recovery techniques.

It says crewmembers should participate in an appropriate drill and relevant codes of practice, and recommends the minister should review existing legislation on the requirement and application for onboard rescue breathing apparatus and training for confined spaces.

A breathing apparatus requirement should also apply to vessels with RSW systems installed,the report says.

The full MCIB report is here

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The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended that the Minister for Transport should consider introducing regulations specific to the installation and operation of articulated hydraulic deck cranes on fishing vessels.

The MCIB recommendation is one of a number issued in its report inquiring into a crush injury sustained by a crewman on board a fishing vessel off the Cork coast in November 2021.

Recommendations in relation to risk assessments, safety legislation, hazard warnings and training for use of articulated deck cranes are also published in the report.

The incident occurred on board the 21 metre-long fishing vessel Aquila which was fishing south of the Kinsale gas rigs on November 7th, 2021.

The vessel with five crew onboard had left the fishing port of Union Hall, Co Cork, the night before. Wind at the time was force three, westerly, with a moderate sea.

The wooden twin trawler was rigged for Danish seine net fishing

As the report states, “at approximately 12.00 hrs on the 7th November, the fishing vessel was at the fishing grounds and the crew were hauling the second haul of the day using the vessel’s net handling crane”.

It says that the crane’s hydraulic system “experienced a sudden loss of hydraulic oil pressure, causing the crane’s jib and power head to uncontrollably lower inboard trapping a crew member between the power head and the underside of the deck supporting the net drum”.

The crewman, who is from the Philippines and had been on the crew for two years, suffered crush injuries.

The vessel’s skipper contacted the Cork Coast Guard Radio (CGR) by VHF radio at 12.38 hrs, advising it of the incident and requesting a medical evacuation of the injured crewman.

It says that at approximately 15.00 hrs, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter R115 from Shannon airlifted the injured man ashore to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for medical attention.

The man was discharged from CUH on November 8th, and was passed fit to fly home. He returned to the Philippines to recover.

It says he recuperated, and has since returned to work as a fisher onboard an Irish registered fishing vessel.

More details are in the MCIB report here

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The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has said that boarding and disembarking risk assessment and associated policies and procedures should “immediately be reviewed” after the serious injury of a diver working on salmon farms off the Galway coast.

The 33-year-old male contract diver, who was contracted by the salmon farm operators to inspect and maintain the salmon cages around Kilkieran Bay, Co Galway, sustained his injuries when he was pinned between two vessels during a transfer from one to the other off Ardmore pier on November 8th, 2022.

The incident occurred when a feed barge was making a rendezvous with a smaller vessel carrying five people, including two contract divers.

The injured casualty was brought back onboard the vessel and was subsequently airlifted to Galway University Hospital (GUH) where his injuries were assessed and included multiple fractures to the pelvis and fractured hip socket joints, the MCIB report says.

At the time of the interview with the MCIB in January 2023, the casualty was out of work, the report notes, and was walking aided by crutches.

Visibility was moderate or poor and winds on the day in question, November 8th 2022, were generally fresh force 5 to strong force 6 (mean wind speed 17 to 27 knots) and gusting up to 40 knots for a time.

In its analysis, the MCIB says that “means of safe access was not appropriate for transferring from one vessel to another and the practice of stepping over the side rails and onto the feed barge’s tyre fender became normalised”.

“ The prevailing conditions including the direction and height of the swell were contributing factors to this incident,”it says, as the licence required the vessel to operate in favourable weather.

There were missed opportunities during the purchase process to verify safe access to and from the vessels as both had safe means of access, but were not compatible when the vessels were moored alongside each other, the MCIB report says.

It says the operator's risk assessment failed to identify the deficiencies in vessel transfer operations and in particular with regard to third parties such as the contracted diver.

It says while the operation was identified by the operator under their safe systems of work, it was not authorised by the Marine Survey Office by way of a “permit to tender”.

In a series of recommendations to the salmon farm operator and owners of the two vessels on reviewing procedures, the MCIB also called on the Minister for Transport, in conjunction with his marine counterpart, to consider if it is “ appropriate or not” to issue a Marine Notice or similar, directed to the operators and those involved in marine aquaculture activities.

It recommends that the Marine Notice would remind operators and all involved of the dangers associated with boarding and transiting vessels at sea;

that operators have a safe system of work including suitable and sufficient risk assessments in place for operations carried out at sea including transfer of personnel onto fish cages and feed barges;

and that operators take steps to ensure that vessels transferring personnel at sea are properly licensed in accordance with passenger boat legislation and “permit to tender” for tendering operations as applicable.

The report is here

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The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has recommended that the Minister for Justice should consider carrying out an audit of the crewing arrangements of any fishing vessel or vessels to ensure non-EEA crew are compliant with the rules governing work permits.

It also says the minister should also ensure there is a robust system in place to ensure those given permits have a sufficient knowledge of English to be able to communicate with fellow crew on board Irish registered fishing vessels.

The MCIB recommendations have been made on foot of its investigation into the circumstances surrounding a serious leg injury sustained by a crew member on board a vessel, the John B, off the east coast in July 2020.

The incident occurred when the crew’s leg became trapped between the centre weight and the weight retaining cage at the stern of the vessel during a prawn fishing operation on July 17th, 2020.

The load was adjusted allowing the injured crew member to extricate his trapped leg from the grip of the centre weight, and other crew provided first aid.

The owners were informed, the vessel steamed to the nearest port, Howth, and the man was taken to Beaumont Hospital emergency department by private vehicle.

No external medical or emergency assistance was sought or requested by the skipper or the owners, the report notes.

The report concludes that no risk assessment for hauling the nets was shared with the crew, and some were employed without mandatory training.

It says the skipper was “inexperienced on the vessel and relied on his crew to recover the gear unsupervised, while he remained in the wheelhouse”.

It says evidence from the skipper asserting that the crew member had been warned about the dangers of standing on the weight while recovering the fishing gear, but continued to do so, “is not supported by any detail or any other evidence”.

It also says this assertion is denied by the casualty.

It says the design and layout of the fishing gear on this vessel was poor, making communication between the winch operator and deck crew difficult.

It says the winch operator could not see the crewmembers feeding the nets on to the reels, and clear lines of communication were also not in place, given that the winch operator could not see the crewmembers feeding the nets on to the reels.

“ Had there been a safe design and planned effective communications in place effective supervision could have been adhered to,”it says.

“ Communications in general onboard the vessel was hampered by a language barrier between crewmembers,” it says and there was a dispute over the number of crew on board during the trip.

The MCIB says it “appears to be the more probable case on the basis of the evidence available” that the crew comprised five and the skipper on the trip in question, and not the normal crew of six and the skipper.

“One man less in the crew complement can of course increase the fatigue factor and also increase the workload on the remaining crew,” the report says

“In addition, there is the issues as to appropriate manning for particular operations. The Working Time Regulation records provided raise some issues as to how many of the crew were working on the operation of deploying and recovering the nets on the day in question,”it says.

“Given the experience of the crew, the nature of the operations and the nature of the trip, a crew of six and a skipper would have been more appropriate on the vessel,” it says.

Once the incident occurred, given the seriousness of the injury, the skipper should have contacted Medico Cork through the Coast Guard Radio Station for advice and arranged safe evacuation to the hospital, but this did not occur, it says.

“ The owners and operators of the vessel did not comply with a variety of legislation in place governing operations and safety of the crew of an Irish registered fishing vessel,”it says.

“It has not been possible to determine definitively who was the employer of the casualty or the other crew members at the time, given the lack of documentation,”it says, and there is an issue with determining the owner.

“ It is essential on any fishing vessel to have clarity on ownership and on the employer given that the regulatory regime imposes duties on owners and on employers,”the MCIB says.

The vessel was submitted for decommissioning, and the report makes a number of recommendations addressed to the registered owners, to the Minister for Justice, Minister for Transport and Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

The full report and recommendations are on the MCIB website

Published in MCIB

Following a recent MCIB report into a serious deck accident aboard a fishing vessel in Dingle Bay last year, the Department of Transport has published a Marine Notice reminding mariners of the dangers of fishing alone.

The MCIB report explains how a lone fisherman on the 9.9-metre An Portán Óir was shooting lobster pots on Friday 14 October 2022 when his leg became entangled in the pot ropes and he remained trapped until he was rescued around four hours later.

It was established that the lack of a personal locator beacon (PLB) was a contributing factor, and that the fisher’s severe pain experienced in the incident could have been alleviated if he had access to a knife.

In response to the report’s recommendations, the Marine Notice reminds owners and operators of fishing vessels of the dangers associated with fishing alone and of the importance of always wearing an approved personal flotation device/lifejacket and a personal location beacon while on deck. Personal locator beacons should be registered.

In addition, lone fishers are recommended to have a suitably protected knife on their person while on deck during fishing operations, especially during potting operations. Knives may also be secured at strategic locations on deck to be available quickly in case of entanglement.

Lone fishers are recommended to carry out a personal risk assessment before each voyage, to remind themselves of the potential risks and to take mitigation measures as required.

More information can be found in Marine Notice No 71 of 2023, attached below.

Published in Fishing
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A recent Marine Notice from the Department of Transport draws attention to the recent report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) on an incident involving a fishing vessel in Dingle last year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it was found that an incorrectly designed electrical system on the French-registered FV Bikain was the main cause of a serious collision with a pontoon in Dingle Harbour which caused extensive damage on 25 November 2022.

It was established that the design of the electrical system necessitated that emergency batteries were required to be in use at all times for the operation of the vessel, but emergency batteries should only be used for emergency situations when the main power supply fails.

The MCIB has made the following recommendations to owners:

  • A list of critical systems should be carried onboard vessels with a maintenance and testing schedule included for each critical system or piece of equipment.
  • Records of test and maintenance should be retained onboard.
  • Sufficient spares should be carried onboard to enable repair of a vessel’s critical systems in the event of failure.
  • Any failure of critical systems should be reported immediately, and a thorough investigation carried out to identify the root cause.
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About Pamela Lee, Irish Offshore Sailor

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most dedicated offshore sailors, and Pamela Lee of Greystones is one of them. She has made a name for herself in the sailing world, having worked as a mate on a charter Super-yacht for two and a half years. After coming ashore, she has been fully committed to her offshore sailing ambitions since 2019.

Lee has raced in various craft, including Figaro 3s, Class 40, Tp 52s, and multihulls, and has eight transatlantic crossings under her belt. In partnership with Kenny Rumball, Lee supported Rumball’s La Solitaire du Figaro sailing campaign to secure the Irish berth in the proposed Mixed Offshore Keelboat event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

One of Lee’s stated main aims is to promote female empowerment in sport, and she set out to establish a double-handed Round Ireland speed record with Englishwoman Cat Hunt in the winter of 2020. This campaign gained much publicity, and Lee expressed pride in bringing sailing and offshore sailing, in particular, into the conversation for 2020.

To further her offshore sailing career, Lee moved to France, where she has recently secured a place to skipper a yacht in the Transat Jacques Vabre Challenge in October 2023. Lee’s passion and dedication to offshore sailing are inspiring, and her achievements are a testament to her hard work and perseverance.