Fisherman drowned in boat fall was not wearing life-jacket

AN INVESTIGATION into the death of a fisherman has found that neither he nor his colleagues were wearing life jackets or flotation devices.

Patrick McCabe, aged 62 and from Dundalk, died after falling from the Boyne Harvester on November 1, 2006. He and two other fishermen were fishing for cockles off Credan Head in the Waterford Estuary.

According to the investigation’s report, fellow fisherman Vincent Mulligan saw Mr McCabe topple into the sea from the stern of the boat.

Over the course of the investigation, it emerged that Mr McCabe didn’t have basic survival training and wasn’t wearing a life-jacket or flotation device. He was also unable to swim.

According to the report, Mr Mulligan threw a rope to Mr McCabe but it fell short. His other colleague, Peter Mulligan, then threw a lifebelt which landed three to four feet away from him but Mr McCabe didn’t appear to grab it.

A rope was thrown a second time and it fell across Mr McCabe as he sank vertically below the water with his arms raised over his head and making no movement.

Large stretches of the east Waterford and Wexford coast were searched in an effort to find his body. On November 26 a body found at Pwllheli on the Welsh coast was identified as Mr McCabe.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board stated that an inquest in Britain declared he died as a result of drowning. It also stated it was possible he could have suffered heart failure due to cold water shock.


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