Leisure boats ‘need tighter regulation’

A MARINE expert with 40 years’ experience said the leisure boat sector needs tighter regulation.

John Murphy, a shipwright based on Bere Island, Co Cork, repaired Mike Schmidt’s Castaway vessel three months before the fatal fire and raised concerns about wiring on the vessel.

Speaking after yesterday’s inquest, Mr Murphy said people can buy leisure craft and put them on the water without enough regulation or policing.

“The leisure industry is mostly carried out in the summer time,” he said.

“The fishing industry is more regulated but the same dangers are present in the maritime situation.”

He said most people involved in the leisure boating sector have yacht master tickets but there is a percentage that needs to be regulated more. “He (Mr Schmidt) was a master mariner, lord have mercy on the man, and was well capable. It wasn’t up to me to tell him how to run his ship. I saw dangers in the situation.”

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