Rosslare Europort where the fatal accident took place. Photo; MCIB

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has launched their report into the loss of a fisherman at Rosslare Europort on 19 May 2019.

The MFV ‘Ellie Adhamh’ WD 206, arrived at Rosslare Europort on the 17th May 2019 and finished landing fish at 12.00 hrs. The vessel was secured alongside No. 4 berth and the rest of the crew left at 15.30 hrs leaving the Casualty alone on the trawler. The vessel, owned by R&E Fish Ltd, Tacumshane, Co. Wexford, was due a survey by the Marine Survey Office on the afternoon of the 21st of May and so remained on the berth over the weekend.

The Casualty had been instructed by the Skipper before he left the vessel to stay onboard and not to go ashore. The safety statement for the vessel states that no crew member should be on board under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

The Casualty was first spotted trying to gain entry to the port at 03.10 hrs by a member of the harbour staff. This was in the vicinity of the weighbridge and the man was directed out of the freight check-in area. He was last seen in this area heading towards the roundabout outside the port at 03.20 hrs. It is unclear how or where the Casualty entered the port area. 

As the berthing crew were preparing to dock the ‘MV Stena Nordica’ at approximately 03.40 hrs on the 17th May 2019, they noticed a man passing by No. 3 berth. 

He seemed unsteady on his feet and informed the berthing crew he was going to the ‘MFV Ellie Adhamh’. The man was then seen to proceed towards No. 4 berth where that vessel was moored. The last line came ashore from the ‘MV Stena Nordica’ at approximately 03.55 hrs. 

A member of the berthing party then went to check to see if the man was alright. As he approached the ‘MFV Ellie Adhamh’ he heard a noise coming from between the vessel and the quay wall. The other members of the berthing crew arrived and located the Casualty face down in the water. 

The berthing crew then contacted the Duty Port Controller who contacted the emergency services. The ‘MV Stena Nordica’ launched its rescue boat and they recovered the Casualty. They then landed him at the Lifeboat Station but despite medical intervention the Casualty did not survive.

The MCIB report concluded:

  • The toxicological analysis report from the postmortem confirms the Casualty was under the influence of alcohol and would have been a danger to himself and others in the port area at the time of the incident. As per the report on an incident at Killybegs on the 14th March 2019 this again highlights the dangers involved when attempting to board fishing vessels when under the influence of alcohol. 
  • Safe means of access to the vessel at all states of tide was not evident. 
  • No PFD was worn by the Casualty.  
  • It is likely that there was considerable movement of the vessel due to manoeuvring of the ‘MV Stena Nordica’ in close proximity to it. As the much larger vessel went astern into its berth it would have caused considerable water flow in the vicinity of the ‘MFV Ellie Adhamh’ 
  • Rosslare Europort does not have bye laws regulating the operation of fishing vessels operating within its jurisdiction.

Read the full report  here.

MCIB report into loss of a Fisherman at Rosslare Europort – March 2019

by editor time to read: 6 min