Faulty boat kill-cord led to man losing his arm
on 16/02/2013 00:00:00
He had taken to the water at about 9pm from Crosshaven and was enroute to Ringaskiddy. Ten minutes later, as he was travelling through an inner channel between the mainland and Spike Island, he fell from the boat but the engine did not cut out. The 8m rib went into a circling pattern and hit him several times.
An eye-witness saw the boat circling and realised there was no one in it. He alerted the emergency services.
At 9.20pm, the Cork Harbour pilot boat arrived on scene and spotted Mr Corkery in the water.
When they got him into the vessel he was, said the report, "incoherent and bleeding heavily". He was wearing a flotation device but no shoes. Once he was brought to shore, a navy rib returned to the scene to look for his arm.
In the aftermath of the incident, the rib was found to be free from damage.
However, the kill-cord was not working. It also emerged that Mr Corkery had been standing when he fell from the boat.
The report stated: "In interview Mr Corkery explained that he was aware of the malfunctioning kill- cord arrangement and as a result he did not have it attached to his person at the time of the accident.
"Not wearing shoes would have reduced Mr Owen Corkery's grip while standing."
In its recommendations, the board said the kill- cord is an essential part of safety equipment for all open motorboats, should always be used, and should be checked regularly.
It also said the helm of a high-speed craft should always remain seated, even at low speed "as a small throttle shift or turn of the wheel can have profound effects on centrifugal and G forces".