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Minster Accepts Investigation Report Findings Into Tragedy Despite Coast Guard Objections

Despite the objections of the Coast Guard, Minister Shane Ross, whose Department has responsibility for its operations, has accepted the findings of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the death of volunteer Caitriona Lucas off the Clare coast over two years ago. He said that he will ensure that the report’s recommendations are implemented. The review of national search-and-rescue already underway will be widened to encompass the MCIB recommendations following Kilkee tragedy.

The MARINE TIMES has been reporting for some months about difficulties and problems in the Coast Guard and been highlighting the lengthy time it was taking to publish the investigation reports into the death of volunteer Caitriona Lucas off the Clare coast over two years ago.

Minister Ross has “instructed the Coast Guard to accelerate its work in developing an independently accredited ISO safety management system that will be robust and fit for purpose” and also told the Coast Guard that “issues which could impact on vessel or crew safety” are to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

The MARINE TIMES has been reporting for some months about difficulties and problems in the Coast Guard and been highlighting the lengthy time it was taking to publish the investigation reports into the death of volunteer Caitriona Lucas off the Clare coast over two years ago.

The MCIB investigation report links to recommendations made after a similar incident, with no loss of life, off Dingle, Co Kerry, in 2014 and notes that subsequent safety recommendations for the Irish Coast Guard arising from that incident were not “fully implemented” in the intervening two years. This has been previously highlighted in the MARINE TIMES after it was drawn to our attention during our investigations into various problems identified within the service by volunteers, several of whom had been dismissed for questioning management decisions.

The MCIB Report says that the Delta rigid inflatable unit (RIB) that Ms. Lucas was crewing on when she died was being used “outside” the Irish Coast Guard’s own defined operational limits.

In a lengthy and detailed response, the Irish Coast Guard called on the MCIB to conduct a “thorough reappraisal” of the draft report.

A separate investigation is still being carried out by the Health and Safety Authority