Report into death of coast guard volunteer Catríona Lucas finds boat was not licensed as required

The report into the death of an Irish Coast Guard Volunteer off the County Clare Coast two years ago has recommended the Minister for Transport review the Irish National Search and Rescue Framework.

The Maritime Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) conducted the investigation after Catríona Lucas died when her boat capsized while out searching for a missing man.

Catríona Lucas

In its final report, the MCIB states the Delta RIB used in the operation was not licensed or certified in accordance with the statutory requirements.

There is a recommendation for the Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister to review and clearly document the criteria for tasking and launching Coast Guard Boats.

Reacting to the publication of the report, Minister Shane Ross says he will be ensuring all the recommendations are implemented.

Shane Ross

The Minister outlined the steps that have been taken as an immediate response to the report:

  • I have broadened the national SAR Framework review already underway as a response to the recent AQE Report on SAR aviation. It will now encompass the relevant recommendations arising from the MCIB report. The Review Group itself met formally on Wednesday 5 December under the independent chairmanship of Sir Alan Massey, former CEO of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the UK.
  • I have instructed the IRCG to accelerate its work in developing an independently accredited ISO safety management system that will be robust and fit for purpose. This work is already underway and significant effort and investment has taken place over the last two years.
  • That said, I am requiring the IRCG and the Marine Survey Office to take the necessary and pragmatic steps to ensure that any issues which could impact on vessel or crew safety are addressed as a matter of urgency.

Minister Ross also paid tribute to Catríona Lucas describing her as “an extraordinary woman – brave, committed, supremely generous”.

He said that her death was an appalling tragedy adding that the Irish Coast Guard would always honour her memory.

“Her life will be remembered by the actions of all those involved in Search and Rescue activities.”

Digital Desk

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