‘Pere Charles’ skipper was ‘fully competent and conscientious’

A leaked draft report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the sinking of the ‘Pere Charles’ trawler suggests that a series of modifications were made to the Dunmore East trawler between 2001 and 2006.

Five crew members died in January 2007, when the vessel went down in bad weather off Hook Head. It was raised in November but the bodies of the crew were never recovered

It is believed that the report gives details that the ‘Pere Charles’ was low in the water due to the amount of herring on board, but states that the boat was not overloaded and should have been able to make it back to port.

The report also mentions Skipper Tom Hennessy, who was described as a fully competent and conscientious.

The draft report suggests that modifications were made to the vessel to make it a herring boat. The trawler’s stability was never re-tested following modifications between 2001 and 2006, although at the time there was no legal obligation to do so. It also mentions that some of the boat’s scuppers were not working satisfactorily but damage could have been inflicted during the sinking of the trawler.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board is the independent body formulating the report which is still ongoing, but some contents from the draft have been leaked into the public domain. Further submissions are being invited before a final report will be carried out.

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