Skipper’s widow: Inquest was second hardest day

The widow of the skipper of the ill-fated Tit Bonhomme said yesterday was second hardest day of her life, as a jury at the inquest into the deaths of five crew on the fishing trawler returned verdicts of accidental death.

Kathleen Hayes made a statement in Cork County Coroner’s Court after the verdicts were returned by the jury. Her husband Michael Hayes, 21-year-old Kevin Kershaw, and Egyptian crewmen Saied Ali Eldin, Wael Mohamed, and Attaia Shaban all died when the Tit Bonhomme ran aground at Adam’s Island in Glandore Harbour on Jan 15 last year.

The inquest had earlier heard that the boat had made a significant change of course just six minutes before it grounded, with one expert witness claiming the change of course required “human input”.

Attaia Shaban was ruled to have died by terminal inhalation of water, having sustained “a lethal injury” to the head as a result of blunt force trauma.

Kevin Kershaw died of acute cardio respiratory failure due to drowning and also suffered brain swelling, and had multiple fractures to the ribs.

Wael Mohamed, brother of sole survivor Abdelbaky Mohamed, also drowned in similar fashion and also suffered brain swelling and other injuries as a result of blunt force trauma, while Michael Hayes similarly drowned having sustained rib fractures and blunt force trauma to the chest. He also had an enlarged heart.

The last body to be recovered was that of SaiedAli Eldin, who died of hypothermia.

Kevin’s Kershaw’s father, Paddy, said after the verdict was returned that he was proud that his son had tried to alert the rescue services in the two calls made from his mobile phone while the Tit Bonhomme was being bashed by waves.


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