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Thursday 28 August 2014

Drowned fisherman 'had been drinking'

Paul Melia

Published 16/07/2013 | 05:00

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A FISHERMAN who drowned while lobster fishing had been drinking and was not wearing a lifejacket, a report into his death has found.

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Gerard Folan (43), from Dooyeher in Carna, Co Galway, died after falling from his curragh, the 'Carraig Ainne', near MacDara's island off the coast of Co Galway on April 23 last year.

A report from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) said contributory factors included the fact he was fishing alone, had consumed alcohol and was not wearing a personal floatation device.

There was some 270mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood in his system, a post-mortem found. The drink-driving limit is 50mgs.

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The father of four was an experienced fisherman and helped save a man from drowning in September 2009 during an incident where a gleoiteog capsized leaving Kinvara.

The report says that Mr Folan, who held a fishing licence and whose boat was compliant with marine safety rules, was dropped to his vessel at Dooyeher Pier in Carna at 12.30pm on April 23, 2012.

Mr Folan was checking his lobster pots off Deer Island in moderate weather with occasional showers. The alarm was raised just after 9.30pm by the deceased's ex-wife after he failed to call home.

An air, land and sea search was initiated, which was closed down at 2.38am the following morning. Mr Folan's body was discovered off the coast of MacDara's island after the search was re-activated following the discovery of his curragh.

Irish Independent

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