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Holidaymaker drowned by water entering tracheotomy tube

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Man drowned by water entering tracheotomy tube


Anton McNulty

A ROMANIAN man who died when his fishing boat was capsized by a wave drowned when water entered his lungs through a tracheotomy tube in his neck.
Mircea Ungar (55), a computer technician from Sibiu in Romania, drowned on Lough Mask on Sunday morning. Mr Ungar had arrived in Ireland on Saturday and was accompanied by six friends, who were staying in Tourmakeady on a fishing holiday.
The inquest into his death held in Castlebar today (Tuesday) heard that while Mr Ungar did not go under the water after the boat capsized, he was unconscious when he reached the shore and was pronounced dead, despite efforts to resuscitate him.
The results of the postmortem on Mr Ungar showed the cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning, and that the water entered his lungs through the tracheotomy. The inquest heard that he had a history of throat cancer.
Mr Ungar was in the fishing boat with another Romanian colleague and their boatman, John Bourke, when a ‘freak wave’ flooded the boat and capsized it. The incident occurred after 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon. The boat was attempting to return to the pier in Tourmakeady, as conditions on the lake had started to deteriorate and the water was getting choppy. The wave that hit the boat was around six foot, the inquest heard. 
The three men, who were wearing lifejackets, held onto the side of the boat until they were rescued by another boat in the fishing party. However, there was concern for Mr Ungar when he was taken from the water and he was pronounced dead when he was brought back to the shore.
Mr John O’Dwyer, Coroner for south Mayo, recorded a verdict of accidental death and described what occurred as an unfortunate accident. He expressed sympathy to Mr Ungar’s family and to his friends who accompanied him on the fishing holiday.

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Romanian man dies after freak wave capsizes fishing boat