UPDATE: EIGHT business fishermen, who died when two vessels capsized in separate incidents off the Queensland coast, could have been trapped by free gear.
The wheelhouses of FV Dianne and FV Cassandra have been discovered cluttered with gear, equivalent to whitegoods, when divers reached the wrecks after the sinkings.
The difficulty of whether or not all cumbersome gadgets in vessel wheelhouses needs to be secured was only one side of a pre-inquest convention held in Mackay on Tuesday.
Counsel Helping the Coroner John Aberdeen described securing gadgets in wheelhouses as a “compelling suggestion on this case”.
It seems a spread of things led to the tragic deaths of the eight males, together with the pace and sudden nature of the sinkings.
“The fact is the (sinkings) occurred so rapidly, as to throw (the crew) into darkness and the disorientation, which the capsize would have induced,” Mr Aberdeen stated.
The convention was performed forward of a joint coronial inquest into the sinkings of FV Dianne off the coast of Seventeen Seventy on October 16, 2017 and FV Cassandra off the Fraser Coast on April 4, 2016.
The our bodies of Dianne skipper Benjamin Patrick Leahy, 45, and crewman Adam Ross Hoffman, 30, have been discovered after the vessel capsized. However the our bodies of the remaining Dianne crew – Adam Jeffrey Bidner, 33, Zachary John Feeney, 28, Christopher David Sammut, 34 and Eli Davey Tonks, 39 – have by no means been found and the boys are “suspected” to have died.
Ruben McDornan was the only survivor of the FV Dianne sinking and will likely be known as as a witness on the inquest.
Cassandra skipper Matthew Neil Roberts, 61, and crewman David Barry Chivers, 36, stay lacking and it is suspected in addition they misplaced their lives.
Mr Aberdeen stated it was “tragically clear” the sinkings occurred so rapidly that “the crew had no alternative, in both case, to entry (life jacket) units”.
Moreover, within the case of the Cassandra, a life raft didn’t deploy because it ought to have and it grew to become tangled and suspended within the water.
The inquest into the deaths of the eight males can be held within the Coroners Courtroom at Gladstone over two consecutive weeks from March 19, stated Coroner David O’Connell.
Through the pre-inquest convention, Mr Aberdeen revealed 10 witnesses will likely be known as with reference to FV Cassandra, whereas eight witnesses will likely be known as over the sinking of FV Dianne, with some overlap.
These on account of seem embody an skilled trawler operator, reduction skipper, divers, investigators from Marine Security Queensland and a naval architect.
Attorneys remained obtainable on a telephone line in the course of the convention, together with representatives of the household of a few of the males misplaced within the sinkings.
Mr Chivers’ widow, Lyn Chivers, was capable of pay attention in because the convention went forward.
“In April will probably be three years. So sure, it has introduced up numerous feelings, she advised NewsMail in Bundaberg.
“However I’ve a way of reduction that after so lengthy of ready that one thing is lastly occurring”
events will now have a while to contact the Coroners Courtroom with reference to further witnesses to be known as or reveals to be offered.
INITIAL: THE premature deaths of eight business fishermen within the tragic sinkings of the fishing vessels Dianne and Cassandra will likely be scrutinised in an upcoming probe.
Within the meantime, a joint pre-inquest convention headed by Coroner David O’Connell proceeded within the Coroners Courtroom in Mackay on Tuesday.
The inquest will delve into the deaths of Adam Jeffrey Bidner, 33, Zachary John Feeney, 28, Adam Ross Hoffman, 30, Benjamin Patrick Leahy, 45, Christopher David Sammut, 34, and Eli Davey Tonks, 39, when Fishing Vessel Dianne sank off the coast of Seventeen Seventy on October 16, 2017.
The deaths of David Barry Chivers, 36, and Matthew Neil Roberts, 61, within the sinking of the Fishing Vessel Cassandra off the Fraser Coast on April 4, 2016 will even be underneath the microscope.
Ruben McDornan was the only survivor of the FV Dianne sinking.
Mr O’Connell will search to find out how the eight males died and what exactly induced their deaths.
The Coroner will look at what led to the vessel sinkings, whether or not the vessels have been compliant with all stability necessities and whether or not security or emergency units aboard the vessels deployed or operated as supposed.
It is hoped the inquest’s findings could forestall the lack of lives in such incidents in future.
Mr O’Connell and different authorized practitioners will decide what additional security measures, together with adjustments to gear, may scale back the chance of vessel sinkings.
Additional security measures to be mentioned embody emergency exit LED strip lighting, emergency ‘seize luggage’ (together with an Emergency Place Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB).
The inquest will even look at whether or not all cumbersome gadgets in wheelhouses needs to be secured with restraining straps or bolts, whether or not exterior doorways needs to be modified to permit opening in opposition to exterior water stress and whether or not business anglers ought to put on an inflatable model vest (with EPIRB) whereas working.
Rising surveillance of vessels via digital finding expertise (Vessel Monitoring System) will likely be one other matter mentioned on the inquest.
The search and rescue operations within the wake of the vessel sinkings in 2016 and 2017 will likely be scrutinised to make sure they have been carried out in the absolute best manner.
The inquest will likely be held following the completion of the joint convention.