Unpublished Irish Coast Guard internal report reveals four volunteers struggled with safety equipment as they tried to survive a vessel capsize

An unpublished internal report for the Irish Coast Guard reveals that four volunteers struggled with their safety equipment as they tried to survive a vessel capsize off Inch beach, Co Kerry almost nine years ago.

The report for the Irish Coast Guard documents how one crewman who did manage to inflate his lifejacket when thrown into the water found himself “gasping for air” .

He had to “prize the bladders of the lifejacket apart to breath” before he believes he “may have lost consciousness”, the internal report says.

All four Dingle Coast Guard volunteers were in the water for about 10 minutes, with three managing to make it ashore after their rigid inflatable boat (RIB) capsized during a search and rescue mission on August 25, 2014.

All four were airlifted to Tralee General Hospital by the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter.

The internal report by Maritime SAR Services Ltd for the Irish Coast Guard on the Dingle incident is central to the subsequent investigation into the death of Irish Coast Guard volunteer Caitriona Lucas two years later off the Clare coast, as the circumstances were very similar.

As with the RIB on which Ms Lucas was a crew member on September 12, 2016, the Dingle RIB on August 25, 2014 was operating in a “surf zone” – contrary to Irish Coast Guard policy – where the vessel was exposed to, and caught by, breaking waves.

As with the Clare incident, there were problems with safety equipment and with communication.

However, the 2014 incident was not investigated by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), and the findings of the Irish Coast Guard’s own internal report completed in February 2015 were not widely circulated to its volunteers around the coast.

This factor was highlighted by the MCIB in its inquiry into Ms Lucas’s death.

The four Dingle crew were responding to a call about surfers in difficulty, when their RIB capsized at 19.52 about 250 metre off Inch strand in late August 2014.

Sea conditions were rough, and the RIB had been trying to outrun a breaking wave when it capsized the vessel.

Three crewman stated that they attempted to inflate their personal flotation devices (PFDs) but were “not able to”, the report states.

It states that one crewman successfully activated his PFD, but found that this “pushed his helmet and made it difficult for him to breathe”.

“He was gasping for air. He attempted to, but could not undo his helmet chin strap. He had to prize the bladders of the lifejackets apart to breath. He has very little memory after this. He wonders if he lost consciousness?” the report states.

The report said “there is information to suggest that in some instances PPE [safety equipment] contributes to the difficulties experienced in surf” by the four volunteers.

The internal report said that not all pre-launch procedures were followed, there were communication issues, and noted that management and administrative responsibilities placed up the local Irish Coast Guard volunteer-in-charge were “excessive”.

The report included 20 recommendations, with top of the list being a direction that the Irish Coast Guard should review and develop policies and procedures governing “responses to incidents in surf conditions”.

Not all of the 20 recommendations had been implemented when Ms Lucas lost her life on September 12, 2016, the MCIB report into her death noted.

Maritime lawyer Michael Kingston, who is representing the Lucas family at the resumed preliminary inquest into her death on Monday (June 12), described as “truly shocking” the fact that the Inch incident “in all its similarities was not investigated by a statutory body – an independent marine accident investigation unit”.

He claimed Ms Lucas’s death “would have been avoided” if there had been an independent inquiry into the Dingle Coast Guard RIB capsize.

Asked to comment on why the Dingle incident was not investigated by the MCIB, the Department of Transport said it “will be engaging fully in supporting the upcoming coroner’s inquest into the death of Caitríona Lucas”, and said she was “a very highly regarded and valued volunteer in the Coast Guard who tragically lost her life in the course of duty”.

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan’s exclusive take on the day’s news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

News Related


Poetry can show us a window to nature’s past says Leitrim nurse who has developed a love of writing

Every year at the beginning of May, Ireland unites to celebrate the Dawn Chorus, that welcome harbinger of spring. Birdsong is at its loudest at his time of year as ... Read more »

Weather warnings come into effect around the country as Storm Agnes makes landfall

Weather warnings are in place in many counties today. WEATHER WARNINGS COME into effect in many parts of the country this morning as Storm Agnes makes landfall. Cork, Kerry and ... Read more »

Hindu festival celebrated amongst Indian community in Sligo

Northwest Hindu Cultural Society in Sligo celebrated the Ganesh Chaturthi (a Hindu festival) on Saturday at Rathcormac National School with a special session held to explain the relevance of different ... Read more »

Solicitors warned by watchdog over failure to inform clients about expected legal costs

The legal watchdog has warned solicitors about failures to inform clients in advance of expected legal costs. The warning came in a new report from the Legal Services Regulatory Authority ... Read more »

Hungary v Ireland: What time, what channel, team news and all you need to know about the Nations League clash

Denise O’Sullivan, left, and Katie McCabe during a Republic of Ireland women training session at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile Ireland continue their Nations League ... Read more »

Gardaí arrest teen following cocaine and cannabis seizure worth over €100,000 in Dublin

An eighteen year old has been arrested after gardaí seized over €100,000 worth of drugs in Dublin last night, Gardaí also seized €1,600 in cash during the Operation Tara search ... Read more »

Kerry District League round-up: Killarney Athletic overwhelm Killorglin

CHARLEVILLE CHEESE PREMIER A Killarney Athletic 4 Killorglin 1 Killarney Athletic recorded their second straight win of the season with a good win over Killorglin. Dónal Kelliher, Jack Cooper, Luke ... Read more »

Multi million euro Hook Lighthouse project delay

PLANS to develop a world class visitor centre at Hook Lighthouse – telling the story of the monks and the lighthouse’s history – have been delayed due to the need ... Read more »

Wexford pikemen and women descend on Waterford for unique 1798 commemoration event

If you are free at 2pm on Saturday September 30, there is a really unique and special 1798 commemorative event taking place between Ballyhack in Co. Wexford and Passage in ... Read more »

Mum pulled over for dangerous driving found to have teen killer from 1990s in her car

A drug-dealing mum who was pulled over by police with a convicted murderer sitting in her car claimed that he “love-bombed” her. Samantha McEvoy, 34, and Nicholas Cole, 45, were ... Read more »

Kerry handballers defeated in All Ireland semi-finals

Kerry handball stars John Joe Quirke (Glenbeigh) and Brendan O’Donoghue (Spa Killarney) were the sole Kerry players representing Munster at the All Ireland Wall Ball championships in Tyrone at the ... Read more »

David McCann: Either we govern this place or nobody else will

Former Health Minister Robin Swann made daily media broadcasts from Parliament Buildings during the Covid crisis. What would the pandemic have been like had New Decade, New Approach not been ... Read more »

Wexford warrior launches new initiative for survivors of sexual abuse – ‘there is unbelievable strength in unity’

The creator of an initiative which offers solace and support for those who have experienced sexual or physical abuse says she wants to foster a “sense of unity” among all ... Read more »

Wedding fire kills more than 100 people in Iraq

A fire which raced through a hall at a wedding in northern Iraq has killed at least 114 people, authorities said. The blaze in the predominantly Christian area of Hamdaniya, ... Read more »

Letters: Government should put its energy where it matters – tackling cartel-like firms

Charlie Weston’s report that 256,000 residential electricity customers were in arrears at the end of June is a shocking indictment of government policy (‘One-in-eight homes now in arrears on their ... Read more »

Stardust manager denies telling security guard exit doors were locked years before fatal fire

Stardust manager Eamon Butterly has denied telling a security warden that exit doors in the nightclub were locked during a concert over two years before the fatal fire, an inquest ... Read more »

I have certainly been afraid – not only for myself but for my child

I have certainly been afraid – not only for myself but for my child AN exhilarated Emily Williams is feeling like the ultimate Queen of the Night. And why shouldn’t ... Read more »

A real buzz about Gorey for successful staging of Culture Night events

“A real buzz about the town” seems to be the words on everyone’s lips when describing Culture Night in Gorey on Friday, September 22. There was plenty to do, from ... Read more »

Carjacker kills woman by zip-tying her throat - before leaving eerie note

A carjacker killed a woman by zip-tying her throat – before leaving behind an eerie note apologising for the horrific killing. Suspect Reese Miller, 24, was caught driving a blue ... Read more »

Susanna Reid replaced on GMB again as she continues to struggle after the NTAs

Susanna Reid has apologised to her followers as she revealed that she would not be presenting Good Morning Britain again on Monday as she continues to recover from an illness. ... Read more »

Meghan Markle's unprecedented pre-royal interview 'left Palace furious'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have always done things their way when it comes to their relationship, ripping up the royal rule book at every twist and turn. While many ... Read more »

Thousands of local authority workers begin industrial action today

FÓRSA TRADE UNION members working in local authorities are beginning industrial action today. The union, which represents over 12,000 local authority workers, said that the decision to take action comes ... Read more »

Mother-of-one (48) is jailed for 506th conviction after stealing handbag from coffee shop

A serial thief with 505 prior convictions who stole from a woman’s handbag in a coffee shop has been jailed for four months. Mother-of-one Catherine Lambert (48) clocked up her ... Read more »

Tony Ward: If Johnny Sexton stays in this form and injury-free, Ireland will give World Cup one hell of a rattle

Johnny Sexton holds his hand after picking up a knock when scoring his first-half try Think back to those schooldays, to that dreaded final public exam, and this in a ... Read more »

Postcard from the TGV: An odyssey of a World Cup weekend

THE SUN IS rising to the right of the train as we speed past Lyon and on towards Paris. Another lovely day is upon France although, mercifully, it’s set to ... Read more »

Kingspan said to make rebuffed proposal for tie-up with Carlisle

Kingspan Group Plc made an informal approach to combine with American firm Carlisle Cos., which rebuffed the move to build a global building materials giant, people familiar with the matter ... Read more »

Americans look back on 9/11 and remember the victims on 22nd anniversary

A man leans on parapet surrounding the South reflecting pool of World Trade Center 9 11 Memorial. AMERICANS ARE LOOKING back on the horror and legacy of September 11, gathering ... Read more »

Ukraine LIVE: Russia to send ‘thousands of zombies' to fight in Putin's war of ‘madness'

Putin is increasing its professional soldier pool, according to the British MoD Russia intends to recruit more than a hundred thousand professional recruits and prisoners to “avoid further unpopular mobilisations”, ... Read more »

NFL Fans Are Praying For Family Of Legendary Giants Star

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – DECEMBER 14: Quarterback Phil Simms #11 of the New York Giants huddles with the offense, including wide receiver Stacy Robinson #81 and tight end Mark Bavaro ... Read more »

Jimmy Nesbitt reveals Late Late Show date with Patrick Kielty as he tips Irish rugby team for World Cup success

Jimmy Nesbitt has revealed he will appear on the Late Late Show this month — with the actor currently in Northern Ireland training for a gruelling endurance challenge in aid ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự