03-16-2008, 09:12 PM #1
Jet skier drowned while trying to swim ashore
Jet-skier drowned when trying to swim ashore on lake
Published on Wed Mar 5, 2008
THE presiding coroner at an inquest into the death of a 22-year-old man who died following a jet-ski accident on Lough Mask last year, has warned people who go onto the water that a wet suit and buoyancy aid cannot guarantee survival if you are stranded in the water.
The inquest into the death of Mr Patrick O'Hare of Gortmore, Tourmakeady was told that he died from drowning after he got into difficulty on the lake when his jet-ski broke down on May 9 last year. He went onto the lake with Mr Shane Mulroe, whose jet-ski also broke down, but he had been able to swim to the shore.
Mr Mulroe told the inquest that both he and Patrick O'Hare arrived at the lake at 8pm. He said his jet-ski started first time but he had to jump-start Mr O'Hare's before they went onto the water.
He was ten minutes on the water when his jet-ski 'conked out'. He said that Mr O'Hare was 100m further out onto the lake than he was and gave a signal that his engine had also cut out. Both men got into the water and started to swim to the shore and Mr Mulroe said it took him 30 minutes. He said he saw Mr O'Hare 150m from the shore and signalled to him and told him he was getting help. He said that Mr O'Hare responded by waving his hands.
Mr Mulroe went to his car and rang Mr Ger Feerick who came to the lake with his jet-ski. Mr Mulroe went back to the shore but could not see Mr O'Hare or his jet-ski. Mr Feerick said he found the jet-ski but could not see Mr O'Hare. He said he was not a good swimmer. They did not panic as they thought he might have come ashore on the road but they could not see him when they drove towards Tourmakeady.
They went back towards Gortmore Bay and, at 9.45pm, Mr Feerick's wife Sephanie called the emergency services. They started to search the shore and were joined by other people but could not find Mr O'Hare.
Garda Brendan McNulty said he got a call at 11pm saying that a person was missing on Lough Mask. He said it was a bad night due to wind and rain. The Shannon Search and Rescue Helicopter searched the lake until 2am when it had to leave to re-fuel. The Corrib Mask Rescue Boat and locals searched throughout the night and at first light the Sligo-based helicopter joined them. At 6am on May 10, Mr O'Hare's body was taken from the lake by helicopter.
Mr Davitt Ward of the coast guard based at Sligo said, at 5.50am, he found the jet-ski on the east side of the lake and the body was 100 yards away, floating face down in the water. Mr Ward said that while Mr O'Hare was wearing a wet suit and a buoyancy aid, the wet suit would not protect him against the exposure. He said a dry suit would have been more appropriate and said if a jet-skier carried a flare it would have been easier for a helicopter to pick up.
Dr Fadel Bennani said his examination of the body found that Mr O'Hare had died due to asphyxiation due to drowning.
Mr John O'Dwyer said that Mr O'Hare had taken the necessary safety precautions before going into the water but it showed that a wet suit and a buoyancy did not guarantee a person would be saved from drowning while in the water. He said there was no indication that Mr O'Hare had done anything improper while on the lake and he recorded a verdict of accidental death.
He extended his sympathy to the family and friends of Mr O'Hare.
03-16-2008, 09:36 PM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
So much for the buddy system!
03-17-2008, 12:21 AM #3
Its a puzzling story because wet suit and PFD together seem so buoyant. And why leave your ski in the first place esp if youre not a good swimmer? I wonder if injury, fatigue and/or hypothermia were factors. More good reasons to carry strobe on PFD and flares, cell phone, VHF, paddle etc on ski.
03-17-2008, 12:43 AM #4
Swim fins too....well he could have gotten a muscle cramp, (sometimes but not in this case aneurysm, heart attack), exhaustion and fatigue...swallowed water and panicked...fear...fear is the greatest motivator...it seems so many people drown so close to shore...so close.....
And you have to realize one thing..most PWC type wetsuits are not for immersion by design, but for splash, spray afffect..they are not designed and cut to fit or think in the materials like a surfing wetsuit........and when you look at this....who knows what kind of buoyancy PFD he was wearing...says it was windy and rough later...his buddy jumped the gun so to say..
His buddy will have to live with a lot of what if's that create guilt....when he saw him waving, he could have been waving for help...that has happened to me, waving for help, people wave back thinking I'm just saying hello....
That is why on my towsurfing 2008 review, the buddy check as early stated...is so critical..until that swimmer lands on shore.....stay!
Very sad and probably could have been avoided, but ...
it also could have been a homicide...who knows...just random thoughts that mean nothing. Only one person knows and he is dead, his wife must be hurting so bad over this...
03-17-2008, 12:52 AM #5
I am curious Shawn about the decision to leave the ski. Is that ever a good idea? I dont think Id ever do that esp if darkness was approaching.
03-20-2008, 05:43 PM #6
I cannot speak about this as I do not have all the details for this situation, however I think there is a 'time for everything'. There are times one could and should abandon a PWC, but it would depend upon many factors..weather, distance, location, phsyical ability, safety items, ability for help to arrive...an abandoned vessel can become an hazard to navigation for others...I certainly think that any vessel that goes on water could be considered at some point to become 'disposable', but life is not...
They made thier decision I think because they didn't think they could swim dragging thier PWC's and that a swim rescue could result in getting someone else with a boat to come back and recover them later..it's obvious their concerns/fear motivated them to self rescue...one made it with seemingly not much difficult, even to the point thinking his buddy was going to be right behind him...but it's suspiscious isn't it to not see them all the way in....but maybe he felt he was find and would be right behind him, not for me to judge...
People make all kinds of decisions for different reasons, articles don't tell all the truth. But survival is always on one's mind....especially when things go wrong....
I feel sorry for all involved and now this will become another PWC issue and create legislative issues for sure, you watch..
SO REMEMBER: YOU ARE ALWAYS A SWIMMER FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
03-20-2008, 06:25 PM #7
Wow! speaking of the devil and here it is...bummer...
Calls for tougher jet ski rules
Jetskier died in August 2006
Thursday, 20 March 2008 15:59
The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has recommended that jet skis should be licensed and those using them should have to undergo mandatory training.
The recommendations are made in its report into the death of a jetskier on Lough Beltra, Co Mayo, in 2006.
The Coast Guard, in its report for last year, says that there was a 10% increase in jet ski accidents.
Overall, it had to deal with 154 incidents requiring emergency rescue help, most of which were caused by those involved in marine leisure activities.
The use of jet skis has been the source of controversy, with objections to their noise, speed and perceived dangers.
Reporting on the death of Alan Joyce from Castlebar on Lough Beltra, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board says he was with a companion, trying out a recently-bought jet ski which overturned returning to shore, throwing both men in the water.
They had ignored advice to wear lifejackets, were considered to be poor swimmers and had little or no training in using jet skis.
Because of the increase in jet ski accidents, it has recommended that the Marine Survey Office should explore the introduction of mandatory training for users, that all jet skis should be registered and anyone operating a jet ski should be licensed and complete a training course.
03-20-2008, 06:29 PM #8
Lifeboat called to save jetski duo
PORT Erin lifeboat went to rescue of two people onboard a broken down jetski.
The lifeboat was called out at 11.40am on Sunday after the jetski broke down in Port Erin Bay.
The two were returned, via the lifeboat, to the beach safe and well.
The RNLI has taken this opportunity to inform pleasure craft users that it is advisable to carry a marine VHS radio or a set of flares.
The full article contains 78 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
Last Updated: 17 March 2008 2:18 PM
03-20-2008, 06:29 PM #9
Youth Died In Tragic Jetski Accident.A verdict of misadventure has been recorded following the death of a 19-year-old on a Jetski on Lough Beltra, near Castlebar. Following the inquest, which was held at Castlebar Courthouse yesterday (Monday), Coroner for Mayo South, Mr John O’Dwyer said he would be writing to Mayo County Council to recommend that regulations governing the use of Jetskis on the county’s waterways be urgently put in place. Describing the loss of Alan Joyce, Ranaghy, Islandeady, Castlebar as, “an absolute waste of life”, Mr O’Dwyer said he hoped the death would not be in vain and that lessons would be learned from the tragedy. The inquest heard that Mr Joyce, a petrol forecourt attendant, was a passenger on a Jetski driven by a friend, Conor Deffely, when it overturned on Lough Beltra on August 6, 2006. Neither of the youths had been wearing lifejackets at the time although there were lifejackets available on the shore. Conor Deffely told the inquest that as they were turning on the lake at low speed the Jetski turned over and they were both thrown into the water. They turned it back up to get back on but it turned over again. Witness said he managed to get onto the Jetski but heard Alan calling him and swam over to him, to try and calm him, but he panicked and grabbed hold of him. He went back to the Jetski and then swam back to Alan again but the same thing happened and he was unable to save his friend. Mr Deffely said he used the upturned Jetski to float back to his friends on the shore. Earlier on, there had been two Jetskis on the lake. The one involved in the tragedy was a Kawasaki machine, bought by a local youth, Thomas McLoughlin, five days earlier for •2,000 from a man near Granard, Co Longford. After returning a verdict of misadventure, Mr. O’Dwyer recalled Sergeant John Mahon to the witness box. Sgt Mahon said no regulations about the use of Jetskis had been adopted by the local authority, Mayo County Council. The Maritime Safety Act empowered local authorities to make regulations on waters under their control but these regulations were not in use in Mayo. Mr O’Dwyer said he had been told by the Council that it was a matter for the members of Mayo County Council to discuss and decide on. It was not a managerial matter. He would now write to the Council and make recommendations. Insp William Keaveney said that if the regulations were introduced the Garda Siochana would play their role in enforcing them. westernpeople.ie
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