Dis­tress sig­nal traced to wrong ves­sel

Bray People - - Inprofile -

AN IN­VES­TI­GA­TION into the sink­ing of a fish­ing ves­sel off the south-west coast showed that the boat was in­cor­rectly traced to a tied-up fish­ing boat in Ark­low, which put the lives of the dis­tressed crew at fur­ther risk.

A re­port pub­lished by the Marine Ca­su­alty In­ves­ti­ga­tion Board in re­cent days out­lines how if the in­ci­dent had not occurred in day­light the crew of seven could have drowned by the time emer­gency ser­vices reached them.

When the MFV Dis­cov­ery boat cap­sized on Jan­uary 29, 2007 a dis­tress sig­nal im­me­di­ately went out to the coast guard but some­how was traced to a sep­a­rate ves­sel in Ark­low which had not is­sued the sig­nal.

The coast­guard then de­ter­mined the cor­rect lo­ca­tion of the stranded crew and di­verted the Air Corps Casa Fish­ery Pa­trol to search the area.

It is re­ported that a de­lay of al­most four hours was caused by the ini­tial er­ror and ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors could have cost the lives of the crew.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that none of the crew mem­bers were wear­ing life jack­ets while work­ing on deck at the time of the emer­gency.

It rec­om­mended that a more for­mal pro­ce­dure must be en­forced for record­ing call signs which cor­re­spond to spe­cific boats.

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