Incident where crane landed on van ‘could have been great deal worse’

The crane removing a catch of fish from a boat snapped and part of it landed on a van which had two people inside.

Incident where crane landed on van ‘could have been great deal worse’

The crane removing a catch of fish from a boat snapped and part of it landed on a van which had two people inside.

Details of the incident were heard at a sitting of Bandon District Court where Haven Fishing Ltd faced three charges being brought by the Health and Safety Authority.

HSA inspector David Barry told Judge James McNulty that on May 19, 2018, at Kinsale pier in Co Cork, the crane was being used to discharge the cargo from the vessel.

Mr Barry said that as the crane slewed the catch from the boat to a van parked on the pier, on the third lift the derrick or lifting device on the crane collapsed and fell onto the roof of the van. Two people were in the vehicle at the time.

It led to the charges being brought against the company, of 67 Haven Hill, Summercove in Kinsale.

A separate charge brought against one of the company owners, James O’Mahony, was withdrawn.

The charges against the company, a family business which was on its third generation at the time of the incident, included a failure to maintain the crane, to have it examined over the previous 12 months for the purpose of maintenance, and that no entry was made on the register that an examination had taken place.

The company pleaded guilty to the first charge and the other two were taken into consideration.

Dermot Conway, solicitor for Haven, said the company had since gone into voluntary liquidation and the vessel in question had been sold.

He told Judge McNulty that the derrick had been bought second hand from the UK and that a subsequent inspection showed there was an internal bolt that his clients were not aware required maintenance.

He said there had been no deliberate omission of duties and said his clients had not been reckless.

He said three brothers had been involved in the company and that it was “very sad that they have come to this”. None of the family are now involved in fishing.

The incident had previously been the subject of a separate prosecution by the Marine Survey Office and Judge McNulty fined the company €2,000 and also directed that they pay expenses accrued by the HSA of €2,200.

The court heard there had been injuries as a result of the incident and the judge said: “Thankfully there were no fatalities. The matter could have been a great deal worse, luckily it was not.”

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