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Safety briefings recommended by Lough Mask death probe

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Safety briefings recommended following Lough Mask death probe

Anton McNulty

A MARINE investigation into the death of a Romanian tourist who drowned during a fishing trip on Lough Mask last year has recommended that a safety briefing should be given to all those hiring angling boats.
Mircea Ungar, a Computer Technician from Sibiu in Romania, drowned when his fishing boat capsized after it was hit by a six foot wave on Lough Mask on May 8, 2011. Mr Ungar (53) had only arrived in Ireland the day before and was accompanied by six friends who were staying in Tourmakeady on a fishing holiday.
A report into the fatal accident at Lough Mask was carried out by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) which found that the instruction given to the Anglers by the guide, John Bourke prior to departure was limited to a discussion about the waves and rocks to be contended with at their departure point.
“There was little discussion with the anglers prior to departure about their level of boating experience, the weather conditions or any disabilities they may have that would affect their safety on the water,” the report concluded.
The group went out in two separate boats but the weather on the day was poor and after one angler became sick they decided to make their way towards Tourmakeady. The lead boat was carrying three men including Mr Ungar and capsized when it was swamped by a large wave. The men were wearing lifejackets and eventually taken from the water but Mr Ungar was pronounced dead on the shore.
The results of the post mortem on Mr Ungar showed that the cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning and that the water entered his lungs through the tracheotomy. The inquest heard he had a history of throat cancer.
The MCIB recommended that the safety briefings should include the latest available weather forecast and the likely conditions to be expected during the angling trip. They also said safety requirements should be enforced.

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