Interim report released into sinking of Dutch tall ship

An interim report has been released into the sinking of a Dutch tall ship training vessel with 30 people onboard off the Cork coast a year ago today.

Eight young Irish sailors were among 24 trainees and passengers rescued from the steel-built Astrid, which initially grounded on Quay Rock at Ballymacus Point off Kinsale.

There were no injuries on board but the Marine Casualty Investigation Board described the incident as being in the “very serious” category.

A full report is due at a later date. The MCIB, a non-prosecutorial body, said it was not the purpose of its investigation to apportion blame or fault.

Authorities from the Netherlands are assisting statutory bodies here.

The 42m dual-mast ship sank and, although subsequently salvaged, it was damaged beyond repair.

The sinking did not have any environmental impact.

The ship, built in 1924, had anchored in nearby Oysterhaven overnight on July 23, 2013.

Trainees ranged in age from 15 to 24. Eight were Irish, four Dutch, and three Briish, along with six French, one Spaniard, and two Belgians.

The ship planned to take part in a sailing festival between Oysterhaven and Kinsale on July 24, 2013.

The ship proceeded out of Oysterhaven, using engine power. At about 11.35am, sails were hauled and the course was altered.

However, at approximately 11.40am, the engine failed and the Astrid grounded on the coast, north-west of the Big Sovereign. All trainees and crew were safely evacuated and landed into Kinsale.

The MCIB said its investigation has concentrated on gathering information and evidence, taking statements, confirming and verifying factual information.

“This has been followed by an analysis of the events and liaison with the many organisations and individuals involved in this complex casualty,” said the MCIB. “Ireland is the lead investigating state and The Netherlands is a participating state.

“The natural justice procedure, as set out in our domestic legislation, will commence shortly.”


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