A SETTLEMENT of €40,000 has been approved for the family of a young man who drowned when a fishing boat he was working on sank in heavy seas.
Kevin Patrick Kershaw (21) had just started as a trainee fisherman on the 'Tit-Bonhomme', when on January 15 last it sank near Adam’s Island, at the entrance to Glandore Harbour, off Union Quay in Co Cork.
Kevin, along with the owner and master of the vessel Michael Hayes (52), and fellow crewmates 35-year-old Wael Mohamed, 26-year-old Attaia Shaban and 22-year-old Saied Ali Eldin – died in the tragedy. One crew member survived.
Arising out of his death, Kevin's father Patrick Daniel Kershaw, of Harrington Street, Dublin, brought a High Court action seeking damages against the late Michael Hayes's legal representative, Kathleen Hayes c/o Marine Response, Prestwick Park, Newcastle, England.
The settlement, which was made without admission of liability, was approved yesterday by Mr Justice Michael Peart, who offered his sympathies to the Kershaw family on what was "a sad and very tragic loss."
In his action, Mr Kershaw claimed that his son's fatal injuries were caused by the negligence and breach of duty of the late Mr Hayes.
It was alleged that the late Mr Hayes failed to have adequate regard for Kevin's safety, failed to consider or take heed of rocks, and that the trawler was not properly maintained, defective, dangerous and not seaworthy.
It was further claimed that Mr Hayes attempted to land the vessel when conditions were unsafe, failed to divert to an alternative safe harbour and navigated the trawler's course in a manner that caused Kevin's death.
Mr Justice Peart was informed the case had been settled for €40,000 together with an agreed contribution towards costs, with the consent of the defendant.
Richard McDonnell SC, for Mr Kershaw Snr, said Kevin had gone to work on the fishing vessel in order to save money to go to Australia. It was his first job and he died on what was his second day working on the boat.
Counsel said that it was their case that Kevin's death was as a result of the 'Tit-Bonhomme' striking a rock and sinking nobody knew for certain what exactly occurred.
Part of the award, counsel said, was to cover the cost of Kevin's funeral expenses.
The rest of the award is to be divided between Kevin's father, his mother Margaret Williamson, his aunt Ann O'Driscoll whom the young man had lived with for five years before his death, as well as Kevin's five younger brothers and sisters.