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Marine Notice No. 34 of 2013

For the attention of all Masters, Operators and Owners

Safety Management Systems – Passenger Ships

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to bring to the attention of all passenger ship operators a recent report published by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the marine casualty involving the passenger ship "MV Ceol na Farraige". The full report may be obtained from the website of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board at .

The report made a recommendation on safety management systems, reminding owners to carry out a risk assessment in accordance with the Domestic Safety Management Code. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to draw attention to the need for owners / operators to carry out a risk analysis in accordance with the Company Safety Policy Statement (Section 2.1) of the Domestic Safety Management Code. This should address all risks including open stairwells leading from the wheelhouse, and take any necessary precautions resulting from the analysis.

Although the code directly applies to cargo vessels over 500 GT and passenger ships operating exclusively in Irish domestic waters irrespective of their flag, its relevance is considered beneficial to vessel types other than the above.

For more information please refer to Regulation EU 336/2006, S.I. No. 60 of 2008 and
Marine Notices 2 , 8 and 41 of 2007.

Statutory Instruments may be purchased by mail order from Government Publications, Office of Public Works, 52 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-6476834. They are also available at: .

Director General,
Maritime Safety Directorate,
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport,
Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.

For any technical assistance in relation to this Marine Notice, please contact:
The Marine Survey Office, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, tel: +353-(0)1-678 3400.
For general enquiries, please contact the Maritime Safety Policy Division, tel: +353-(0)1-678 3418.
Written enquiries concerning Marine Notices should be addressed to:
Maritime Safety Directorate, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.
email: [email protected] or visit us at:

Published in Marine Warning
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#fishing – A key aspect of new state safety packages for fishermen unveiled today is the use of EPIRBS which are to be made mandatory overtime and included in revised Fishing Vessel Code of Practice.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, TD, with responsibility for maritime safety regulation and emergency response, and Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, with responsibility for the fishing industry, jointly launched a multi-faceted, cross Departmental, Cross Agency safety initiative for the Irish Fishing Industry in Union Hall today.

Grant aid is being made available for float-free, automatically activated EPIRBs (electronic position indicating radio beacons) for fishing vessels of less than 15 metres. The scheme will be operated by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and cover 60% of the cost of equipment for smaller vessels under 12 metres, and 40% of the cost for larger vessels. This is the single most significant safety enhancement of the scheme announced today. The grants can be used to purchase new units or to retrofit or replace old, manually operated beacons.

Grants will also be provided for Personal Locator Beacons which will be made mandatory for vessels of 15 metres or less, and included in the Fishing Vessel Code of Practice.

The initiative is supported by both Departments and their respective agencies and features the following:-

– Provision of Vessel & personal locator beacons.

– A new enhanced Safety Equipment Grant Aid Scheme operated by BIM for the purchase of:

– Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

– Personal Locator Beacons integrated into Personal Flotation Devices (PFD/PLB's)

– Float Free – self activating Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBS)

– Auto Pilot Alarms

– Wireless engine cut offs

Revised Fishing vessel Code of practice to be tougher and amended to take account of lessons learnt from recent tragedies.

A New Marine Notice being drafted on use of lifejackets.

· The establishment of a high level working group on safety in the Irish fishing industry.

· A new National Maritime Safety and Emergency Response Strategy to be launched.

· An new enhanced Safety Training Course run by BIM on a five year cycle

Minister Coveney said; "This cross Departmental initiative launched here today is testament to this Governments commitment to improving safety in our fishing fleet. It is about learning from past tragedies, and saving lives in the future."

Minister Varadkar said: "It is appropriate that the launch of this important maritime safety initiative targeted at the fishing sector is taking place here in Union Hall. Those tragic events of January 2012 left a huge impact on the nation as a whole, and reminded the nation of the dangers of the sea. The first ever national maritime safety strategy announced today is about closing any gaps in services, preventing accidents at sea, and through consultation with stakeholders and the general public, striving to reach a situation where we have no fatalities at sea. The launch of BIM's scheme backed up with the changes to the Code of Practice and a continued commitment to regulation and compliance with safety standards will help to engrain a culture of 'safety-first' on the water."

Minister Coveney explained " I am making €800,000 available over the next three years to fund this scheme and aligned with the new excellent enhanced safety training course being rolled out by BIM will focus primarily though not exclusively on operators of small vessels."

Minister Coveney went on to say "I am also establishing a new high level working group on safety in the fishing industry, to look at all aspects of safety on fishing vessels and to report to Minister Varadkar and myself with recommendations before the end of the year. The new working group will be chaired by Mr John Leech current CEO of Irish Water Safety. Because a common thread of comment in recent times has been the need to pay particular attention on issues surrounding the number of small inshore boats that get into difficulty, I have charged the group with focussing to a large degree on this aspect."

Minister Varadkar said: "I firmly believe we can and must do more to prevent tragedies such as those we have seen in the recent past. The bottom line is that we can pass any law we like, but if it is not enforced and we do not have a culture of zero tolerance in regard to non-compliance, we will continue to lose loved ones at sea in the coming years."

To conclude Minister Coveney said: "I am confident that the combined effect of this multi-faceted approach with the full support of both Departments is a major step in the right direction and will achieve results. I know this issue is painful for those who have lost friends and loved ones at sea, however, I hope that they can gain some comfort from the knowledge that something concrete is now being done. The aim is to save lives, we have to see a culture change in our attitudes to safety, and we all have responsibilities in seeing this common held desire become a reality."

A third round of grants will be provided for auto-pilot alarm systems, and consideration is being given to making their use mandatory.

An ongoing safety and equipment training initiative will also be launched and kept under constant review. The new enhanced safety training course run by BIM will be a one day course to be taken by every fisherman every five years throughout their career, it will be a cornerstone of the ongoing safety initiative not only in the use of new equipment but also on bespoke safety procedures.

The first implementation of the new course will feature instruction on the grant aided Personal Locator Beacons, Integrated Personal Floatation devices with Personal Locator Beacons (PFD-PLBs) and auto-pilot alarms. Future courses will bring fishermen up to date on the latest developments in safety techniques, skills and processes.

Published in Fishing
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#fishing – The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney T.D. & The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar,TD willl launch an enhanced safety package for fishermen at the pier  in Union Hall, Co Cork next Monday (July 8) at 12 noon. 

Published in Fishing
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#RNLI - It was a busy June bank holiday weekend around the country for RNLI lifeboats in West Cork, Mayo and the Midlands.

On Sunday afternoon, Baltimore RNLI assisted four people after their yacht got into difficulty a mile south of Mizen Head.

The 32ft yacht with four people on board had been propped by a pot buoy immobilising her in the water. The alarm was raised at 10.41am and lifeboat the Alan Massey was launched minutes later.

A local RIB, which had commenced towing, passed the tow to the lifeboat and the yacht was then taken to the safety of Crookhaven Pier.

This was the second call out this week for Baltimore RNLI. On Thursday last three men were rescued when their punt overturned near Horse Island.

Later on Sunday, Achill Island RNLI in Co Mayo brought a distressed fishing vessel with seven people on board to safety.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch at 4.50pm to assist a small fishing vessel in the vicinity of Clew Bay and close to Clare Island. The vessel had encountered engine problems and was unable to return to port.

The boat and its crew of seven were subsequently towed safely to Curraun harbour by the Achill Island RNLI lifeboat.

Speaking after, Achill Island RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tom Honeyman said: "The presence of thick fog surrounding the vessel meant that great care was needed in the rescue and the fishing party of the vessel were delighted to return empty handed for a change."

Meanwhile in the Midlands, Lough Ree RNLI brought five people to safety in two call-outs over the weekend.

On Friday 31 May the volunteer crew was requested to launch around 5pm following a report that a cruiser had ran aground north of Quaker Island.

A local fisherman raised the alarm after spotting the cruiser on the rocks at the island located in the north end of Lough Ree raised the alarm.

The lifeboat crew managed to establish contact with the person on board the cruiser via mobile phone and he had confirmed that he had got lost and had ran aground. He reported that there was no water entering his boat. He was on his own but not injured.

The inshore lifeboat was launched and the crew was on scene at 5.30pm. It took the lifeboat 10 minutes to safely navigate its way through the rocky area to reach the casualty. The person on board the cruiser was taken to shore and arrangements were made for a specialist company to attend the scene to recover the cruiser.

Lough Ree RNLI was then launched on Sunday evening to assist a 26ft cruiser which had ran aground east of Green Island after sustaining engine failure.

The small cruiser with a family of four on board had lost engine power and had ran aground on the south east side of Lough Ree.

A crew launched the lifeboat at 8.40pm and arrived on scene 10 minutes later. After one of the lifeboat crew had carried out an assessment of the causality vessel, the decision was made to make an attempt to pull the vessel from the rocks, which the lifeboat was successfully able to complete.

Once the lifeboat had the vessel in deep water, a tow was set up and the casualty vessel was taken to Quigleys Marina in Athlone.

It marked the continuation of a dramatic week for the Lough Ree crew, after six were rescued from a sinking cruiser on the lough last Tuesday 28 May.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard has issued advice to the public for the June bank holiday weekend regarding safety on the water and when enjoying leisure activities on cliff paths and walks.

Bright and dry weather with sunny spells is forecast over the weekend with highest temperatures of 13-18 degrees. The current spell of good weather is forecasted to last over the weekend when traditionally many people take to the water and enjoy outdoor bank holiday activities.

Irish Coast Guard manager Declan Geoghegan said: “Warmer weather encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors but we are appealing to the public to be aware of safety when on the water, enjoying our coastline and walking on cliffs and other areas.

"This summer, we began our 2013 safety awareness campaign in May and our campaign this year is aimed at holidaymakers, those engaged in water sports, people enjoying cliff walks or engaging in coastal activities throughout Ireland. We are also targeting walkers and climbers.

“In the last week alone, we have had at least three incidents with swimmers getting into difficulty around the country. Unfortunately one person lost their life.”

Throughout the summer (as at other times of the year), coastguard units throughout the Ireland will patrol our rivers, lakes, waterways and coastlines issuing safety advice and information to holidaymakers and tourists.

The following are general safety tips and advice from the Irish Coast Guard to help enjoy the water and coastal activities in your area this weekend and this bank holiday weekend and throughout the summer:


Only swim at beaches and waterways that have lifeguards on duty and pay attention to the safety flags. Ask the lifeguard for advice about safety and water conditions and adhere to their instructions. Avoid using inflatable toys such as lilos and rubber rings on the water.

Cliff Walking

There is safety in numbers, so never be alone if possible. Let somebody know when and where you are going and what time you will be back. Stay well away from the cliff edge, both top and bottom. Don’t attempt to rescue people or pets if they fall over the edge. If assistance is required dial 999/112 and ask for the coastguard.

Watersports & Coastal Activities

Before going to sea check local weather conditions and tides in the area. Wear correctly maintained and fitting lifejackets that are suitable for the activity. Lifejackets are of no use unless they are worn. Ensure your craft is fit for purpose. Always advise someone as to where you are going and the time of your intended return. Do not overload the craft. If you are in difficulty or see someone in difficulty and requiring assistance dial 999/112 and ask for the coastguard.

For specific advice and information on any water and coastal activity visit

Published in Coastguard

#Safety - The deaths of a mother and daughter in Britain's Lake District have highlighted the need for awareness of the risk of carbon monoxide leaks on cruisers and other vessels with sleeping berths.

As The Guardian reports, 36-year-old Kelly Webster and her 10-year-old daughter Laura Thornton died in their sleep on board a moored motor cruiser in Lake Windermere over the Easter bank holiday.

The interim report into the incident by the UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released this week confirms that fumes from a jury-rigged generator exhaust spread into the cabin of the boat belonging to Webster's partner Matthew Eteson, who survived.

It was also pointed out that the boat's carbon monoxide sensor did not set off an alarm because it was not connected to a power supply.

The boat had been installed with a portable petrol-driven generator of the kind normally only intended for use in the open air.

"The use or permanent installation of these engines on boats, particularly in enclosed spaces or below decks, increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning," the report added.

Just a week after the tragedy, BBC News reported that a woman and two children were taken to hospital to be treated for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after a similar incident on a boat on the same lake.

Following the latest news, Bord Gáis Networks has provided guidance for keeping aware of the dangers of fumes from gas or fuel-powered generators, heaters or cookers.

Boaters are urged to think of the appliances on their vessels and whether they burn fuel oil, gas, LPG, wood or coal, which all produce carbon monoxide by burning.

Carbon monoxide becomes a hazard when there is not enough air flow to burn the fuel properly - more likely in an enclosed space such as a boat cabin - so ventilation is very important.

Make sure all flues and exhaust outlets are clear and ventilated, and ensure any appliances used are suitable for boats and serviced annually by a qualified agent.

Boat-owners are reminded of the good practice of installing a carbon monoxide alarm, and to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning - which include headache and dizziness, leading to loss of judgement, nausea, possible convulsions and elevated heartbeat.

Published in Water Safety

#IrishHarbours - Funding of €7.4 million for urgent remedial works at six regional harbours has been announced by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar.

The funding will pay for repairs and safety works on essential harbour infrastructure, and is likely to benefit the local economy, promote leisure activities and support the fishing industry.

“This funding will allow essential works at these regional harbours on piers, walls and harbour structures," said the minister. "This work is necessary as part of their transfer from central Government to local authority control.

“Harbours play an important role in their communities in terms of fishing, cargo and leisure and play an increasingly important role in tourism and watersports."

Minister Varadkar added: "The large-scale safety or construction projects planned for Kinsale, and for Baltimore & Skibbereen Harbour this year will be able to go ahead thanks to this funding. Smaller scale projects at other harbours can also proceed, including essential works at Arklow Harbour.”

The funding has been allocated to the following harbours:
Arklow - €3,588,000
Baltimore & Skibbereen - €1,165,000
Bantry Bay - €100,000
Kinsale - €1,467,000
Tralee & Fenit - €750,000
Wexford - €329,500
The funding has been concentrated on remedial works to ensure that the harbours are in a fit condition during their transfer to local authority control.

Twelve of the 13 regional harbours have transferred to date, with 11 being taken over by local authorities, and one designated a fisheries harbour.

Published in Irish Harbours

#MarineInstitute - Keep track on the status of Ireland's coastal waters thanks to the Marine Institute's website, which features live updates from the Irish Marine Weather Buoy Network.

The network is a joint project designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The buoy network provides vital data for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

Data recorded by the six buoys dotted around Ireland's coastal waters, both offshore and far offshore, includes stats on atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, wave height and even salinity levels.

The project is the result of successful collaboration between the Marine Institute, the Department of Transport, Met Éireann and the UK Met Office.

Published in Marine Science

#Coastguard - Howth Coast Guard responded to 53 calls throughout 2012, with its 25 volunteers clocking up more than 4,000 man hours.

In its review of the year, the north Dublin unit of the Irish Coast Guard noted that while its safety boat Grainne was dispatched to fewer calls on the water, there was an increased number of cliff and beach incidents to attend to, particularly in the Clontarf and Dollymount areas.

Howth also became one of the first search and rescue teams in the State to avail of the Irish Coast Guard's new side scan sonar.

As previously reported on, the coastguard saved 161 lives throughout a busy 2012 that saw the network respond to almost 2,000 call-outs nationwide.

And 2013 so far has been off to a busy start, marked by a dramatic cliffside rescue in Donegal on New Year's Day.

Published in Coastguard

#watersafety – The Christmas season is a time when thousands of people around the country must take extra care when taking part in sponsored swims in support of many charitable causes. Thousands more are at risk when taking walks by rivers, lakes and shorelines and even more are lulled into a false sense of security when visiting relatives living close to water hazards such as slurry pits, exposed drains and canals. Irish Water Safety has compiled a Christmas survival guide to staying safe around water at Christmas time.

The full moon on Friday 28th December will result in a higher tidal range and with it an increased risk of people becoming stranded whilst walking with family and friends over areas of beach and rocks not normally exposed during standard tides.

Christmas and New Year Swims:

Get in, Get out, warm up.

Christmas day charity swimmers occasionally take chances beyond what is acceptably safe, finding themselves left without sufficient strength to climb out of the water due to the cold.

Cold winter waters can cause "cold shock" and hypothermia can set in within minutes, overwhelming the fittest of swimmers. If sea conditions deteriorate then the charity swim should be cancelled. If you see a person in difficulties do not attempt a rescue for which you are not trained. Make use of any nearby rescue equipment such as a ringbuoy and in the event of an emergency call the emergency services on 999 or 112. No alcohol should be taken before the swim.

Christmas Charity Swims

The Christmas season in Ireland is a time when thousands of people around the country traditionally run sponsored swims in support of many charitable causes.

People organising these swims on Christmas Day, St. Stephen's Day or New Year's Day should ensure that they provide comprehensive details of each event to the Irish Coast Guard and local Gardai.

Each event should have a Safety Officer appointed, who will advise those concerned on safety and have the ultimate responsibility for making decisions in relation to the swim being on or off on the day.

If the seas are rough and weather deteriorates, they should defer the event to a more suitable day without question - do not take a chance on running the event.

Many participants will not have swam since the summer and the temperature of the water has now dropped considerably. It is a fallacy that alcohol will keep you warm when entering the water; in fact it has the reverse effect and could kill you. Irish Water Safety strongly recommend that no alcohol be taken either before the swim or after the swim and also remind people that they may be in breach of the drink driving laws when driving to or from the event.

Cold water can cause cold shock and hypothermia in minutes, because the temperature of the water at this time of year will be below 50F/10C.

Elderly people should be mindful that steps leading into the water might be dangerous due to the increased growth of algae in wintertime.

Swimmers' remaining in the water for extended periods in a gesture of bravado is not acceptable. The message is "Get In, Get Out and Warm Up".


Supervise children at all times, but especially if you are on holidays abroad this Christmas.

Never swim alone in a pool unprotected by lifeguards, in fact one should always ensure that there are lifeguards on duty within the pool area.

Do not engage in any water-based activities after the consumption of alcohol,

Alcohol should not be consumed before your water safety activity

Always wear a lifejacket when boating or participating in other aquatic sports.

In a Marine Emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Marine Rescue.

Know your limits to avoid cold shock and hypothermia.

Be careful when fishing from rocks or on the banks of rivers, or lakes.


Avoid flooded areas as fast running water and submerged hazards pose a serious threat.

Rising waters, fast flowing currents and dangerous hidden hazards are all present with rising and receding flood waters. Move to higher ground immediately using alternative routes to avoid becoming trapped and respect the power of fast rising waters and the dangers of exposed drains and submerged objects. No driver or pedestrian should take a chance passing through flooded roadways. Parents should caution children that floodwaters hide the true depth and that manhole covers may be open and that small streams when swollen are very fast and deeper than normal. Knowing what to do when surprised by localised flash flooding will help avoid property damage, injury and drowning.

What should I do when I hear a Flood Warning?

Listen to the national and local radio for met eireann updates

Check on neighbours particularly if they are elderly, infirmed or families with young children

Move your vehicles to higher ground

Move animal stock to higher ground

Check your small craft to ensure they are well secured or moored

Make sure you have warm clothes, food, drink, a torch and radio.

Block doorways and airbricks with sandbags or plastic bags filled with earth. Floodgate products will work effectively also.

Switch off gas and electricity supplies if flooding is imminent.

Check the time of High Water in the Newspaper.

Personal Safety

Avoid flood waters at all times

carry a mobile phone at all times in case you need to call for help - call 112 or 999 in emergency

Wear suitable protective clothing & a Lifejacket in on or around water

Never try to swim through fast flowing water.

Never put your feet down if swept away

Flooding on roads will be deeper at dips and around bridges.

Stay away from sea and flood defences.

when walking or driving, be aware of manhole covers and gratings that may have been moved due to the heavy flow of water.

Take care when using electric appliances in damp or flood conditions.

Remember that during the hours of darkness the dangers are multiplied.


As you walk shorelines, keep a close eye on new moon tidal advances and carry your mobile in case you are cut off.

On Christmas Eve the new moon will increase the range of our tides causing higher and lower tides. This will expose large areas of beach and rocks which we normally don't see. Many people enjoy exploring these new areas of beach and in particular people enjoy picking shellfish to eat which become exposed during these very low tides. The risk of becoming stranded as the tide advances can quickly leave people cut off from the shore which is why people should carry their mobile and call 112 if required. All those boating, surfing, diving or swimming should be aware of the increased tidal streams that will be running around our coast over the Christmas weekend.


Should we experience a repeat of last season's icy conditions, there are dangers specific to frozen canals, rivers and lakes. Children are especially at risk as they are attracted to playing on ice. Constant supervision is the key to keeping children off the ice as there is no such thing as safe ice. Also at risk are individuals who attempt to rescue others fallen through ice. Ice-related drownings often occur when the rescuer gets into difficulty attempting to rescue another person or a family pet. Playing or fishing on the frozen edges of a river, lake or canal is perilous as ice can be quite thick in one area yet dangerously thin in others.

Ice Safety Tips to stay out of danger

Rescuing another person from ice can be dangerous. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore. Use your Mobile.

Call for help at 999 or 112 and ask for the Emergency Services. Give your precise location, the number of people in difficulty and any conspicuos building or landmark nearby.

Check if you can reach the person using a Ringbuoy and rope, long pole, items of clothing or branch from shore - if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person.

If you can not reach them then pass out something that will float e.g. a ringbuoy, empty water proof container e.g. oil, milk containers.

Instruct the casualty to keep still to maintain their heat and energy;

If you go onto ice, wear a PFD and carry a long pole or branch to test the ice in front of you. Bring something to reach or throw to the person (e.g. pole, weighted rope, line or tree branch).

When near the break, lie down to distribute your weight and slowly crawl toward the hole.

Remaining low, extend or throw your emergency rescue device (pole, rope, line or branch) to the person.

Have the person kick while you pull them out.

Move the person to a safe position on shore or where you are sure the ice is thick.

All casualties should be taken to hospital even if they appear to be unaffected by their ordeal as they will be suffering from hypothermia.

Never go out on ice alone and especially at night.

If you get into trouble on ice and you're by yourself:

Call for help.

Resist the immediate urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area.

Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach.

Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to push your torso on the ice.

When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight. Do not stand up! Look for shore and make sure you are going in the right direction.

Ice Rescue Tips:

Avoid going out on ice and discourage others from doing so.

Carry your mobile - Call for assistance from the emergency services.

Do not attempt a rescue by going onto ice, rather use any

Instruct the casualty to keep still thereby maintaining their heat and energy.

Try to find something close by that will extend your reach such as a ringbuoy, rope, pole, branch or items of clothing. Throw this to the casualty. Then make sure you are stable on the bank by lying down or getting someone to hold onto you and attempt to pull the casualty from the water.

If you cannot find something with which to perform a reach or throw rescue, try to find something that will float to throw or push out to them. This will help keep the casualty afloat until assistance arrives.

Throughout your rescue KEEP OFF THE ICE, and continue to reassure the casualty, keeping them talking until help arrives.

All casualties should be taken to hospital even if they appear to be unaffected by their ordeal as they will be suffering from hypothermia.

Published in Marine Warning
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