Alcohol a likely factor in deaths of men off Co Kerry coast

MCIB publishes report on incident involving Anatolijs Teivens, Jurijs Burcevs and Valerijs Klimentyevs

Anatolijs Teivens, Jurijs Burcevs and Valerijs Klimentyevs went out fishing in a boat most Sundays during the summer from Coonana Harbour near Cahersiveen.

Anatolijs Teivens, Jurijs Burcevs and Valerijs Klimentyevs went out fishing in a boat most Sundays during the summer from Coonana Harbour near Cahersiveen.

 

People using boats should refrain from consuming alcohol, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board has said following a report which found drinking was a factor in the deaths of three fishermen who drowned off Co Kerry last year.

The report into the incident, which led to the deaths of Anatolijs Teivens, Jurijs Burcevs and Valerijs Klimentyevs, found the design of their 4.8m Picton Sidewinder Ski Boat and the fact that two of the three of them had been drinking were likely factors in the tragedy.

The board’s report also identifies a failure among the Latvian men to plan for the voyage and emergency situations and to appreciate the limitations of their glass reinforced plastic boat as likely factors in the September 30th, 2018 incident.

The three men, who lived in Killarney and Tralee, went out fishing in the boat most Sundays during the summer from Coonana Harbour near Cahersiveen, the report says. On the morning in question, they set out at around 8.30am and were said to be in good spirits and wearing life jackets.

The wife of one of the men phoned him at around 11am to see how they were getting on and was told her that the water was “no good, not stable” and that he wanted to come back. When the woman called him again at around 2.30pm, there was no reply.

The report says that a local resident remarked to another local at around 6pm that the men’s boat had not returned so they went to Coonanna pier with a pair of binoculars. They raised the alarm after seeing the bow of the boat upright in the water and the body of a man in the water closer to the pier.

A postmortem revealed one of the crew had an alcohol concentration of 148mgs per 100 mls of blood while a second man had an alcohol concentration of 191 mgs per 100 mls of blood while the third man had no alcohol in his system.

All three men died due to “acute cardio-respiratory failure due to drowning”, the postmortem found. The board noted that all three men were wearing buoyancy aids which provide only limited support when compared to life jackets.