The MCIB has released its report into the investigation involving an incident onboard a 10-metre fishing vessel at Dingle Bay, Co Kerry dangers associated fishing alone

A Marine Notice has been issued to all Fishing Vessel Owners, Operators, Skippers, Crew and Fishers on the dangers associated with fishing alone

Irish Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority 2023

The Department of Transport, in a recent update, wishes to bring to the attention of all stakeholders in the fishing vessel community a recently published report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB).

The report focuses on an investigation involving the fishing vessel “An Portán Óir,” which transpired in Dingle Bay, Co. Kerry, on October 14, 2022. For those interested, the comprehensive report is readily accessible for review via the MCIB’s website or can be directly accessed through the following link: MCIB/322.

The incident under scrutiny involves a lone fisher who was in the process of deploying lobster pots when an unfortunate entanglement occurred, resulting in his leg being ensnared by the pot ropes. The fisher remained trapped for an estimated four hours until rescue operations successfully extricated him.


Personal Flotation Device/Personal Location Beacon

In response to the findings and recommendations outlined in the report, this Marine Notice serves as a vital reminder to all owners and operators of fishing vessels regarding the associated risks of solo fishing operations. It emphasises the critical importance of consistently wearing an approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket while working on deck and of having a personal location beacon (PLB) readily available.

It is strongly advised that personal locator beacons are registered, as they prove invaluable during emergencies.


Mitigating the Danger of Entanglement

To enhance the safety of lone fishers, the recommendation is for them to carry a properly protected knife while on deck, particularly during potting operations. These knives can also be securely placed at strategic locations on the vessel’s deck, ensuring quick accessibility in the event of entanglement.


Risk Assessment

Furthermore, lone fishers are strongly encouraged to conduct a personalised risk assessment before embarking on each voyage. These assessments serve as a means of reminding individuals about potential risks and the necessary mitigation measures that must be undertaken to ensure safety.


Circulation of Marine Notices

In light of the report’s findings, it is recommended to promote the circulation of Marine Notices. Owners of fishing vessels are encouraged to subscribe to the Marine Notice mailing list. It is imperative that lone fishers acquaint themselves with the contents of all previously issued Marine Notices pertinent to their specific operations.

For those interested in subscribing to the Marine Notice mailing list, requests can be made via email to: mailto:[email protected].


Relevant Marine Notices

For the convenience of the fishing community, the Department of Transport has compiled a list of Marine Notices issued in 2022 and 2023 that are particularly relevant to the safety and operation of fishing vessels:


Marine Notice No. 14 of 2022: New Revision of the Code of Practice for Small Fishing Vessels.

Marine Notice No. 31 of 2022: Importance of Voyage Planning for Fishing Vessels in Adverse Weather and Sea Conditions.

Marine Notice No. 51 of 2022: Checking hydrostatic release and remote activation function of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs).

Marine Notice No. 61 of 2022: Mandatory Requirement for all Fishing Vessel Crew Members – basic safety training.

Marine Notice No. 18 of 2023: Electrical Systems in Small Pleasure, Fishing, and other Craft.

Marine Notice No. 26 of 2023: Carriage of Nautical Charts and Publications.

Marine Notice No. 31 of 2023: Reminder: Advice regarding the Use of Appropriate Marker Buoys/Ropes when Engaged in Pot Fishing for Lobster, Crab, or other Fish or Shellfish.

The Department of Transport says it is deeply committed to prioritising the safety of fishing vessels and their crews. It strongly encourages all relevant parties to take these recommendations to heart, thereby working collectively to prevent future incidents and safeguard the well-being of those engaged in the fishing industry.

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Brian J McMullin Soliciors Killybegs
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