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Displaying items by tag: MCIB

#MCIB - A man who lost his arm when he fell overboard from his boat in Cork Harbour last summer could have avoided the accident if he had followed essential safety precautions, according to the official report into the incident. The full report is available to download below as a PDF document.

Owen Corkery of Carrigaline was the subject of a 'miracle rescue' on 9 June 2012 when he was thrown overboard from his RIB, which subsequently struck him several times after he entered the water near Haulbowline Island, causing serious injuries to his head, back and left arm.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the RNLI said Corkery was "incredibly lucky to have been spotted from the shore" by a man now known to be Paul Bryans, who had been looking through a telescope at Fort Camden in Crosshaven approximately a mile away from the site of the incident.

Bryans and colleague Dick Gibson immediately raised the alarm with the emergency services and Crosshaven RNLI respectively, and rescue crews were dispatched within minutes.

While the lifeboat volunteers took control of the wayward RIB, Corkery was quickly retrieved from the water by the crew of the Cork Harbour Pilot boat Sonia. They found him incoherent and bleeding heavily, and also noted that while he was wearing a working personal flotation device (PFD), he was not wearing warm clothes or shoes.

Corkery was transferred via ambulance to Cork University Hospital, where his left arm was later amputated just above the elbow due to the severity of his injuries.

According to the official report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), the RIB was found to be undamaged but had no CE or other approval mark.

The kill cord on the boat's motor was also found to be malfunctioning, as the engine could be started whether or not it was attached, and did not shut off when removed.

The report states that Corkery - an experienced powerboat user who had not completed any recognised handling course - has since explained he was aware of the kill cord malfunction but continued to use the vessel.

He confirmed in the same interview with investigators that he was standing beside the helm of the RIB at the time of the incident, a position that "would have made him considerably more likely to be thrown from the vessel".

Investigators also found it likely that Corkery's lack of shoes would also have reduced his grip while standing on the floor of the RIB.

In its conclusions, the MCIB report - which is available to download below - emphasises that the kill cord is an "essential part of safety equipment for all open motorboats" that should always be used and checked regularly, and that the helm of any high-speed watercraft should always remain seated, even at low speeds.

It also recommends that all pleasure craft owners should complete a recognised powerboat handling course.

Published in MCIB

#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

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) reminds all mariners of the obligation to report marine casualties to the appropriate authorities in the event of an incident.

The notice refers to the official report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) into the grounding of the cargo ship Pantanal (more details) at Rossaveal on 31 March 2011, which can be read in full HERE.

The report recommends that mariners be reminded of the European Communities (Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System) Regulations 2010, as amended, which require the operator, agent or master of a ship in Irish waters to immediately report to the Irish Coast Guard any incident affecting the safety of the ship, or any incident liable to lead to pollution of the waters around Ireland or any other EU member state.

Full details are include within Marine Notice No 3 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in News Update

#Coastguard - The Irish Times reports on the death of a local fisherman off the Waterford coast on Thursday morning in an incident that prompted a major coastguard and lifeboat search and rescue operation - six years to the day after the tragic sinking of Dunmore East trawler the Pere Charles.

The Irish Coast Guard's Rescue 117 helicopter was dispatched to before 8am along with the RNLI lifeboats from Dunmore East and Tramore to the scene off Brownstown Head after a 16-foot fishing boat capsized, throwing its two-man crew into the water.

James Tate reached the shore unaided after some two hours in the water to raise the alarm. He was later treated for shock and hypothermia.

His friend Johnny Flynn - a former member of the Dunmore East lifeboat crew, according to the Irish Independent - was found unconscious in the water by the coastguard helicopter before 8.30am, but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The men's boat has been recovered, and a spokesperson for the Marine Casualty Investigation Board confirmed that a full investigation and inquest into Flynn's death would take place.

The incident came just two days after four fishermen were rescued from their boat off Hook Head in Co Waterford.

Elsewhere, it's reported that a Spanish fisherman died after sustaining head injuries on a trawler off Loop Head in Co Clare on Thursday morning.

The Irish Times has more on both stories HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has again advised recreational boat users to prioritise safety while on the water following the death of an angler on Lough Corrib earlier this year.

Clarifying the story previously reported on Afloat.ie, Michael Ruane died by drowning after he and angling partner Donal Coyle were knocked overboard from their small craft when it heeled over on a large wave off Annaghdown on 19 March 2012.

Coyle was treated for hypothermia after an unsuccessful attempt to search for his colleague, whose body was recovered by the Irish Coast Guard more than two hours after he entered the water.

The MCIB report into the incident found that the revolving seat used by one of the two men on board meant that "both his height above the gunwale and his position right forward may have had an influence on the handling and stability of the boat", which was not compliant with the EU Recreational Craft Directive.

It also found that while both were wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs), they were only loosely fitting - explaining why Ruane became separated from his lifejacket shortly after going overboard.

Moreover, the kill cord on the boat's engine was not used by either man, which caused them to be separated from their vessel. "The consequence of this," the report said, "was a long period of immersion in cold water which led to the death of one of the men and hypothermia of the other".

There was also a delay of more than an hour in raising the alarm as the men in the water had no means to indicate their distress. Coyle had a mobile phone but it was rendered useless by immersion.

The MCIB has recommended that owners and operators of recreational craft should be aware and follow the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s (DTTAS) Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft. The complete report is available to download below.

Meanwhile, problems with the auto-pilot system were judged to be the trigger of events that caused the scuttling of fishing vessel Jeannete Roberta in Glandore Harbour last December.

The prawn boat was returning to port on 11 December 2011 when the skipper had difficulty switching the helm from auto-pilot to manual due to a known issue with "sticky solenoids".

While the skipper addressed that issue, the boat suddenly altered course without warning - another issue known to occur randomly - and was holed on rocks on the southern side of Adam's Island before eventually sinking.

While castigating the owner/skipper for continuing to sail the vessel with persistent navigation issues, the MCIB also noted that all six crew survived the incident uninjured, finding that all stayed calm and organised as they abandoned ship, and that all safety and communications equipment functioned as required.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has reiterated the importance of forward planning and safety before going on the water after the drowning of a man off Donegal Point in Co Clare on 5 November last year.

The official report into the death of Latvian national Armandas Silins (52) found that he had gone out into the water in a remote area off Kilkee in a small inflatable dinghy with no safety or communications equipment.

It was established that Silins, who had been living in the Kilrush area for around a decade, had owned the dinghy for some time but there was no evidence that he had ever used it to fish.

It was also found that he had not informed any third parties of his plans for that day.

Local man William Ryan spotted Silins in the dinghy in rough seas close to an enclosed bay known as the 'Horseshoe'.

Ryan took photographs of Silins - included in the report - moments before the dinghy capsized. He immediately raised the alarm and kept in contact with the Kilkee Coast Guard Unit while Silins was in the water trying to hold on to his dinghy.

By the time a coastguard rescue team arrived in the area, Silins had become separated from the dinghy, and his body was located nearby shortly afterwards.

The MCIB report found that it was "fortuitous" that William Ryan had been in the area to observe Silins in the water and contact emergency services.

It concluded: "The circumstances attending the incident were tragic in the extreme but avoidable."

The full report on the Donegal Point incident is available to download via the link below.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - Bilge alarms in compartments below the water line have been recommended for fishing vessels in the official report into the sinking of the FV Amy Jane off Donegal last year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the six-man crew of the crabber were rescued by coastguard helicopter some 13 miles off Malin Head on the morning of 7 October 2011 after the boat began taking on water overnight.

The vessel had left Greencastle Harbour in the early hours headed out to haul pots from the crab grounds off Malin Head when the crew discovered that the boat was down by the head. The pot store was found to be full of water, and attempts to pump it out made little difference.

The alarm was raised via radio with Malin Head Coast Guard before 9am and Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was tasked to the scene, lifting all six crew from the stricken vessel by 10.30am.

The report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) found that corrosion within the Vivier tank system - used to preserve the boat's catch - was the likely source of the breach that led to the vessel taking on water.

Though an unusual thump or bump was noticed by the skipper on watch around 3am, nothing obvious was discovered, and neither the listing at the boat's head nor the flooding of the pot store - which had no bilge alarm - were noticed till after sunrise.

Aside from recommending the installation of bilge alarms for all compartments below the water line on fishing vessels, the report also called for consideration to include survey guidelines for Vivier systems, which are exposed to the same environment as the hull.

The full report on the Amy Jane incident is available to download via the link below.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended the use of man overboard recovery systems on board fishing vessels after the death of a crewman on the MFV Mark Amay II off Achill Island last year.

Cathal McDaid drowned after being carried overboard from the four-man fishing trawler when he stumbled on the boat's launching net while crossing the deck on the morning of 10 May 2011.

The MCIB report found that McDaid apparently lost his safety helmet and hit his head either on the stern ramp as he was being carried over, or against the hull of the vessel while in the water, possibly rendering him unconscious - which explains why efforts by the crew to throw him a lifebelt proved fruitless.

The situation was compounded by McDaid's choice of personal flotation device. Though he was wearing a PFD on deck, as were all crew members, it was of the waistcoat kind without a collar "that will not turn the wearer onto his back and keep his head out of the water".

Had he been wearing such a collar, it would have "significantly reduced the likelihood of his drowning".

Conditions at the time of the incident were also very poor, with force 5 to 6 south-easterly winds and seas of up to 5 metres, with the vessel pitching severely, which made it impossible for the crew to put a wire line around McDaid and hoist him aboard.

He was instead pulled into the vessel's liferaft, where fellow crew Charles McDaid and Joáo da Silva alternately administered CPR to little avail.

The crew contacted Malin Head Coast Guard, which tasked the Sligo-based Rescue 118 helicopter to the scene, some 52 nautical miles west of Achill Beg.

The Irish Coast Guard aircraft arrived some 90 minutes later and winched Cathal McDaid aboard, flying him directly to a waiting ambulance at Sligo Airport, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

In its official report into the incident, the MCIB noted that McDaid had been standing on the deck against the established safety rule for the vessel's crew that no standing on the trawl deck is permitted when the net is being shot.

It also found that had his safety helmet been properly secured, it may have prevented the blow to the head from rendering him unconscious, and that had be been equipped with a safety harness it may have stopped him from being dragged overboard by the net when he fell on deck.

The most significant conclusion, however, was that no formal arrangement was in place on the Mark Amay II to recover a crewman from the water.

To this end, the MCIB recommends that "a proprietary type of man overboard recovery system, such as the Jonbuoy MOB Recovery Module or similar be available on board and that all crew are trained in its use". It is also recommended that the Minister for Transport consider issuing a marine notice to that effect.

The full report on the Mark Amay II incident is available to download via the link below.

Published in 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
Page 8 of 12

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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