MCIB/193 - "Léim an Bhradán"
Report of Investigation into the sinking of the fishing vessel "Léim an Bhradán" on 30th October 2010
Porturlin, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Date of Incident
Saturday 30 October 2010
Wednesday 20 July 2011
On the morning of Saturday 30th October 2010, the 33m crabber "Léim an Bhradán" put to sea from Porturlin, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland, on a routine fishing trip to lift, empty and reset crab and lobster pots approximately 12 to 15 miles north of Porturlin. A canister-type 4 man liferaft was stored in a cradle on top of the wheelhouse. The vessel was manned by Skipper, John O'Donnell and crew, Nathan Flannery, both young men but with many years of fishing experience between them. Having successfully hauled and re-shot one tow of pots, a second tow, in the process of being hauled, was partially aboard being emptied and re-baited prior to shooting. The vessel was lying beam on to the breeze and large swell and listing slightly to starboard due to the pots being hauled over that side when a large wave broke over the starboard quarter and flooded the working deck. This caused the vessel to list further to starboard allowing more water over the side and causing the stacked pots and boxes to shift. The vessel continued to list further, throwing both men into the water before capsizing and sinking rapidly. \r\n
The liferaft canister, which was not secured to the vessel, floated to the surface. Messrs. O'Donnell and Flannery managed to inflate the raft although to do so they found it necessary to cut the canister securing straps with a key. Both men mangaed to climb aboard.\r\n
Several hours later, the alarm was raised ashore when the "Léim an Bhradán" had not returned to port. A rescue helicopter and lifeboat were tasked to the scene and the liferaft was located. Messrs. O'Donnell and Flannery were picked up and brought ashore by the lifeboat. There were no injuries or fatalities associated with this incident. All times are quoted as local time.