Kayaking incident happened due to disregard of warnings, report finds

Several participants in commercially organised tour ended up in water at times

The group had set to make a return trip from Bulloch Harbour to Dalkey Island but quickly encountered problems.

The group had set to make a return trip from Bulloch Harbour to Dalkey Island but quickly encountered problems.

 

An incident involving kayakers who got into trouble off Bulloch Harbour and Dalkey Island in County Dublin occurred because there was “insufficient regard” to a small craft warning and weather forecasts, according to The Marine Casualty Investigation Board.

The incident, involving a party of 15 kayakers, occurred in the late afternoon of September 13th, when the group set out on a commercial sea kayaking tour. The organisers were not named.

The group comprised of three instructors and twelve participants. various members of the party had become separated at the time of the incident.

The group’s intended plan was a return trip from Bulloch Harbour to Dalkey Island. However, the group was unable to cope with the waves which they encountered outside the harbour. One of the kayaks was overturned and a woman was thrown out of the cockpit.

With the aid of two instructors, she was able to get back into her kayak. However, she was thrown out a second and third time, according to The Marine Casualty Investigation Board report.

Those on another kayak also went into the water and assistance was given by locals who were fishing.

A number of the participants were later assessed by ambulance personnel on shore at Bulloch Harbour. One was advised to go to hospital due to ambulance crew’s concern about the amount of sea water she had swallowed.

The investigation by the Marine Casualty Board found that the incident occurred because a small craft warning which in operation by the time the tour set off was ignored.

The kayaks, being small craft, embarked on the tour and “insufficient regard was had to the small craft warning,” the report said.

“In light of that safety alert, the tour should not have departed at the time it did.”

Additionally, there was a “disregard for Met Éireann forecasts” which contributed to the decision to “embark on a potentially unsafe tour.”

All individuals involved in the incident made it safely back to shore.