Castaway wreckage may stay on seabed

IT IS not known yet whether the 25-foot motor cruiser that burst into flames killing three men on the Beara peninsula this week will be raised from the seabed.

Bantry gardaí say technical experts may yet examine the wreckage of the Castaway to work out what exactly caused the fire.

Superintendent John Quilter said enquiries as to the cause of the fire are still ongoing but it is believed if the fibreglass on the boat’s console caught fire, it would have “gone up like a candle”.

It has also emerged that some of the crew were badly injured before being forced to jump into the sea. The men had tried to fight the blaze before realising that it could not be contained.

All four were experienced seamen with the two Germans having spent up to 40 years as merchant seamen and master mariners.

Both gardaí and the Marine Casualty Investigation Board have launched investigations.

The four men, Eddie Dzito, Wolfgang Schroder, Richard Harman and Mike Schmidt, had been fishing on Monday near the Roancarrig lighthouse off the Adrigole coastline. It’s understood that they had landed a big catch of mackerel in the hour before the fire broke out.

Eddie Dzito, who owned the pleasure cruiser, was the sole survivor of the accident. He was interviewed at his Glengarriff home by the MCIB yesterday. Friends continued to visit him yesterday, describing him as in “deep shock”.

Seventy-year-old Richard Harman’s removal is due to take place from Coakley’s funeral home in Bantry this evening. His funeral service will take place at St Brendan’s Church, Bantry, at 2pm tomorrow.

The remains of the two German fishermen, Mike Schmidt and Wolfgang Schroder, will be brought from Coakley’s to the Sacred Heart Church in Glengarriff at 4.30pm on Sunday for mourners to pay their respects. A farewell ceremony for the two men will take place on Monday at the church at 12pm.

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