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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

Shipwreck report: 'Desire for photo op meant Astrid tall ship was too close to the coast'

Human error has been blamed for the sinking of the ship in a new report.

THE SINKING OF the tall ship, the STV Astrid, has been blamed on human error.

The tall ship ran aground off Kinsale in July 2013. All 30 passengers, who were successfully rescued, were on a voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg.

Rescue operation

A report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board concluded that the immediate cause of the ship grounding and subsequent sinking was due to the loss of power from the main engine.

Tallship on rocks Source: Niall Carson

The main engine stopped as a result of fresh water contamination of the fuel, stated the report.

However, it also stated “the desire for photograph opportunities for the ‘Gathering Cruise’ event” was given priority, resulting in the ship sailing within 300 metres of the shore.

The report found this distance as “inadequate” and said priority should have been given to the safe navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations.

Investigators also said that the MAYDAY message could have been sent out earlier, and “could have been critical to the final outcome had conditions been more severe”.

Tallship on rocks Source: Niall Carson

The ship was also not certified as a passenger ship for either EU or international voyages nor were the crew appropriately certified and the ship should not have been at sea.

The report recommends that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport should explore mechanisms to ensure that sail training ships entering Irish waters and ports comply with the requirements of the International Conventions and European Union Law.

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