€450k for widow of West Cork fisherman

The widow of a 34-year-old fisherman who died in a tragic accident on board a trawler off the Cork coast has settled her action for damages for €450,000.

Sean Lynch from East End, Castletownbere, West Cork, who died after sustaining a head injury, was one of six men on board the 22m Róise Catriona on May 8, 2008.

An inquest into his death later heard that a rope could have hit him with a force of up to 100 tonnes. While nobody saw the accident an investigator with the Marine Casualty Investigation Board said a snagged rope was the most likely cause.

Mr Lynch and his crew mates were on the final day of a seven-day fishing trip and were due in Castletownbere that evening.

But tragedy struck just before 6am as Mr Lynch and a colleague were casting their nets 50km south-west off the Fastnet.

Mr Lynch was found lying unconscious on deck with a large facial wound and blood pouring from his mouth.

In the High Court yesterday his widow Deirdre settled her action for damages against the owners of the Roise Catriona, Damien Turner Fisheries Ltd, Castletownbere, Co Cork.

Liam Reidy SC told Ms Justice Mary Irvine that Mr Lynch had died in a tragic accident. Counsel said a full defence was filed and liability was denied in the case. Contributory negligence on the part of Mr Lynch had also been alleged. It was agreed the final figure of the settlement would reflect a 25% deduction as a result.

The court heard that a portion of the settlement was to be allocated to Mr Lynch’s three children.

At the 2008 inquest, Ms Lynch pleaded with the Government to review the scramble times for night-time helicopter rescue missions. The jury at Cork City Coroner’s Court recommended the review after the inquest heard the coastguard helicopter’s scramble time differed between day and night missions.

Valentia Coast Guard tasked the Shannon rescue chopper crew at 5.55am. It was reported airborne at 6.40amand it took just under an hour to fly the 126 miles to rendezvous with the trawler.

A winch man and paramedic was on board the boat just after 7.33am but despite further medical efforts, Mr Lynch died.

Mrs Lynch described her husband as a family man.

“Seán was the best. He was a family man, he fished to provide for us. If he could, he would have been at home all the time.”


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