Bolger Brothers Tragedy Report Released
No distress message was received when a boat got into trouble just before the deaths of three County Waterford brothers in a fishing tragedy, an investigation report has found.
The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report said that whatever caused their boat, the “MFV Dean Leanne” to founder, occurred very quickly, because no mayday call was received by VHF radio, and no flares were set off. It also found that two of the crew were wearing defective lifejackets, and stated that the chances of survival would have been improved if the life jackets had been in a good condition.
The report also stated that the “Personal Flotation Devices” worn by two of the fishermen had not been subject to proper maintenance.
“The chances of survival would have been enhanced if the PFDs were in good condition,” according to the findings.
It said that if an Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon (EPIRB) had activated this could have assisted in a timely and direct response from the emergency services. The EPIRB is geared to automatically trigger a safety alert and a position signal if a boat sinks or capsizes. It had been tested by the owner in March 2013 and again two months later, but the regulations stipulate that this test should be carried out on a monthly basis.
The board’s report said the vessel “possibly encountered wind or wave action or a combination of both” after it left Dunmore East, Co Waterford, early on June 12th, 2013, to tend lobster pots. The report also noted that the operational area of the vessel was the Waterford estuary within five miles (8km) of a safe haven, but it was operating “outside the parameters” of its declaration of compliance.
For the full MCIB reoport into the tragedy see > http://bit.ly/MCIBrep
Main Picture ~ MFV Dean Leanne being brought ashore at Newtown Pier, Tramore, by the Irish Coastguard (Picture courtesy of Jack Sauvage)