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Displaying items by tag: Erris Head

#MCIB - The dangers of performing maintenance tasks on boats while machinery is running have been highlighted in the official investigation into an accident on a fishing vessel off Erris Head in Co Mayo last year.

The skipper of the MFV James Collins was seriously injured when his leg was caught in the vessel's propeller shaft while attempting to clear debris from the bilge pump on the morning of 20 April 2012.

Jonathan O'Donnell, aged 26 at the time, suffered significant soft tissue damage to his left leg and broke his trivia, fibia and ankle in the incident. Luckily the leg did not require amputation and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) found that the vessel's bilge pump was located in the hold adjacent to the propeller shaft, with access to both prevented by the same covering boards.

When O'Donnell responded to a persistent bilge alarm, he did not put the engine on stop or into neutral and the propeller shaft remained turning when he removed the covering boards to access the pump.

As he put his foot into the bilge beside the shaft in order to reach down and clear debris, his waterproof leggings were caught by the coupling on the shaft and his leg was round around it twice.

The MCIB noted the quick actions of the vessel's crew and the prompt attendance of RNLI lifeboat and Irish Coast Guard helicopter crews as instrumental in O'Donnell receiving swift treatment and not losing his leg.

However, the report also pointed to a lack of attention to proper safety precautions on board, nothing that the skipper was "too intent on solving the bilge pump problem" and that he "neglected basic safety procedures" by not stopping all machinery before accessing the bilge as set out in the Code of Practice for Fishing Vessels.

The report concluded that the "ease with which debris could enter the bilge and block the pump suction" was a contributing factor to putting the skipper in his predicament at the time, and also referenced the ease with which loose-fitting clothing like waterproofs can be snagged on turning machinery.

Moreover, the screening of the propeller shaft by covering boards also used to access the bilge pump did not present adequate protection "enabling it to be easily exposed and present a hazard".

The MCIB recommends that the Code of Practice be amended to highlight the danger of accessing the bilge area when shafts are rotating, and to include assessment of sole boards in fish holds to prevent debris passing through to the bilge tank. The complete report is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

Met Eireann have issued a severe weather warning. 

Southerly gales or strong gales developing this evening and for a time tonight on all coasts and on the Irish Sea. Winds veering westerly tonight and continuing to reach gale force on coasts from Roches Point to Erris Head to Malin Head overnight.

Stormy conditions will affect Ireland Thursday afternoon, evening and for much of Thursday night. Gale force westerly winds will gust between 100 and 120 km/hr generally, but gusts of up to 140 km/hr are expected in exposed parts of Connacht and Ulster. These winds are likely to lead to some structural damage and will be accompanied by high seas on Atlantic coasts. Winds will moderate considerably towards dawn on Friday.

More HERE

 

Published in Weather

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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