Department of Transport reacts to Tit Bonhomme sinking report

The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport has today published its
response to the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into the
sinking of the Tit Bonhomme.****

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The purpose of an MCIB report is to investigate a marine incident, and to
make recommendations to the Minister in order to prevent a recurrence. The
MCIB’s independence from the Department is enshrined in law. ****

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The Department has accepted all five recommendations from the MCIB report.
The recommendations serve to highlight the importance of adopting a
rigorous safety culture at sea. All five recommendations have either been
implemented or are in the process of being implemented.****

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The Department’s response to the five safety recommendations contained in
the report is as follows:****

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*6.1That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport enforces the
European Community (Workers on board sea-going fishing Vessels)
(Organisation of Working Time) Regulations, 2003 (S.I.709 of 2003).*

*6.2 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport enforces the
Merchant Shipping (Safety of Fishing Vessels) (15-24 Metres) (Regulations)
S.I. No. 640 of 2007 in relation to musters and drills.*

The Department introduced an updated fishing vessel logbook for Irish
registered fishing vessels of 25 tons or upwards from the January 1st 2013.
Use of the logbook is being enforced at vessel surveys and inspections
addresses, generating a safety management culture on-board Irish registered
fishing vessels.****

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*6.3 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport considers amending
the requirements to provide for the automatic change-over of electrical
power supplies for the radio installation in the event of an emergency.*

The cost of technology to provide an automatic switch-over is now available
at a reasonable price to vessels. Reference to this technology is being
included in the next revision of SI(2007) 640 and fishing vessels will be
required to adopt the technology when they fall due for survey.****

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*6.4 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport considers the
possible fitting of Bridge Navigation Watchkeeping Alarm Systems (BNWAS)
on-board fishing vessels.*

The Department fully supports fitting vessels with these systems. BNWAS is
already mandatory for cargo ships and passenger ships. An Bord Iascaigh
Mhara is proposing to provide funding for the voluntary fitting of these
systems, which are mainly relevant for fishing vessels greater than 15m
length overall. ****

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*6.5 That the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport considers issuing a
Marine Notice drawing Owners/Skippers attention to the necessity for
Skippers encountering situations where the safety of the vessel and its
crew are potentially put at risk to alert the appropriate shore authorities
advising them of the situation and what assistance the vessel may require.*

The Department will shortly issue a Marine Notice to address this
recommendation.****

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Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said: “I want to
extend my sympathies to families and friends of the deceased. We owe it to
them and everyone using the sea to embrace a culture of safety at sea and
ensure that similar incidents do not re-occur in the future. I also want to
thank the MCIB for its thorough investigation.”

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