Turf boat above Killaloe: Admiralty Surveyors’ sketch 1839 [by kind permission of the UK National Archives]
On Tuesday last, a boat laden with turf, and manned by three persons — two Quins, brothers, young boys, and the owner, Martin Houlagan — left the County of Galway side of the Shannon for Killaloe. The weather became so very rough, it was late before they neared the quay at Derry Castle; but, unfortunately, when within view of safety, a squall split the sail, and the little vessel capsized, and, with the two Quins, sank to the bottom.
Houlagan swam to the shore, but it was so dark he could not find his way; he got inside a sheltered ditch from the inclemency of the night, but was found, in the morning, a lifeless corpse.
Northern Whig 26 November 1840 quoting the Nenagh Guardian
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Safety, Shannon, Sources, The turf trade, Uncategorized, waterways, Weather
Tagged boats, Derry Castle, Galway, Houlagan, Ireland, Killaloe, Lough Derg, Operations, Quin, Shannon, sinking, storm, Tipperary, turf, turf boat, vessels, waterways
On 31 October 2013 I mentioned the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s safety bulletin about the DUKW fire in London and the DUKW that sank in Liverpool. There is more on the London fire today with a Guardian report on proceedings at the London assembly’s Thames passenger boat investigation committee. The Guardian headline read …
Duck boat passengers not wearing lifejackets when jumping into Thames
… and the story reported the Maritime Coastguard Agency’s maritime safety and standards director as saying that wearing of lifejackets would not have been usual on “such boats” and that lifejackets were safely stowed above the seats. The story also said that
London Duck Tours’ managing director, John Bigos, said the Cleopatra had the required legal number of lifejackets on board and that it was company policy that lifejackets were not worn on tours. He went on: “We have our reasons for this (non-wearing) but they are not to do with commerciality.”
There is a different policy in Ireland, where the Dublin Viking Splash operation says
Lifejackets: At the water entry point, customers are required to put on a lifejacket after the driver delivers an outline about safety on the water. The lifejackets supplied by Viking Splash Tours are Solas and CE approved buoyancy aids […].
The point that strikes me is that, in both UK accidents, passengers had little time to don lifejackets and would have been trying to put them on in a confined space and under less than ideal conditions. It seems to me that Viking Splash’s policy is the right one.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Safety, Tourism, Water sports activities, Waterways management
Tagged Dublin, DUKW, fire, Grand Canal, Ireland, lifejacket, Liverpool, London, Operations, safety, sinking, Thames, waterways