Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Buoyancy aids vital for fishermen, says report


Fisherman should wear lifejackets or buoyancy aids, a safety report has reinforced.

Two fishermen were saved off the Irish Coast after their boat, Aisling Patrick, capsized in a rescue involving flares. They had buoyancy aids.

Rescue services responded to a flare and rescued two fishermen off Broadhaven, County Mayo, in April. Sadly, another crew member who was not wearing a buoyancy aid perished when the fishing vessel sank in rough seas.

The report into the fatal accident from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board says the death of mackerel fisherman was caused in part by an absence of training and a failure on the part of the crew to wear buoyancy aids.

The skipper was able to swim out from underneath the capsized vessel while the other two crewmembers were thrown into the water. One found a life ring.

The life raft surfaced from under the vessel and one crewmember inflated it and climbed aboard. He threw a rescue line towards the skipper but the third crewmember perished.

Malin Head Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre picked up the broadcast and launched an emergency vessel almost immediately, but incomplete information in the signal delayed rescue attempts.

However, the Air Corps’ maritime patrol aircraft was in the area at the time and saw a flare set off from the life raft and was able to winch the men out of the water.

The investigation was unable to determine conclusively why the boat capsized, “but it would appear that the vessel’s stability was reduced due to the ingress of water and as a consequence capsized in the prevailing sea conditions”.

It said the absence of “any formal operational training for the crew of this vessel resulted in poor operational procedures and incorrect actions during an emergency situation”.

The top 10 factors contributing to loss of life at sea in Ireland identified by the Department of Transport, three were present in the incident.

The image of Aisling Patrick is taken from the report.



Jul 04, 2019