The investigation into the deaths of drowned fishermen heard a boat sink “extremely quickly”
The inquest into the deaths of two fishermen who drowned when the Alize crashed off Hook Head in Wexford in January 2020 heard that the boat sank “extremely quickly”.
The inquest returned verdicts of accidental drowning death in the case of Joe Sinnott (65) of Kilmore Quay, Wexford and William Whelan (41) of Gurteens, Saltmills, Wexford.
The vessel was carrying 29 bags of scallops, weighing one tonne, well below the trawler’s weight limit of three tonnes.
Coroner Dr Sean Nixon offered his sympathies to both families for their loss and said this tragic incident has once again served to “showcase the bravery of our fishing fleets, which are working under very difficult conditions”.
Willie Whelan’s brother, also a fisherman, provided proof of the opening and said his brother and Mr Sinnott left Duncannon for what they planned to be a relatively short fishing trip on January 3. He said he spoke to his brother around 6:50 p.m. the night the Alize sank and talked about fishing.
Mr Whelan’s father, Joseph Whelan, said he also spoke to his son that evening. Willie told his dad they were “on the last blow” around 8:45 p.m.
Health and Safety Inspector Edward Wall testified that skipper Willie Whelan and Joe Sinnott were very experienced and knowledgeable fishermen.
He stated that the Alize was built in 1989 and had been “completely refurbished” by Mr. Joseph Whelan when he purchased the vessel in 2013. The boat received seaworthiness certification in 2018 and this was to remain valid until ‘in 2022.
Coroner Dr Sean Nixon referred to the findings of a report by the Marine Casualty Investigations Board (MCIB).
“The fact that no distress signal was emitted and no rocket was deployed, as well as the fact that the body of the skipper was found trapped behind equipment on the deck, indicates that the boat must have sunk very quickly and capsize very quickly, âsaid Dr. Nixon. .
The cause of death for both crew members was drowning and Dr Nixon recommended that the jury return a verdict of accidental death in both cases. They agreed with the coroner’s recommendation.
Dr Nixon thanked all emergency services involved in the operation to recover the two fishermen, as well as the two families.