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Moana Accident Calls For Safety Reminder

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 25 August 2004

Moana Accident Calls For Safety Reminder

The Maritime Safety Authority says its investigation report on the tragic loss of the skipper of the fishing vessel, Moana, off the Oamaru Coast on 21 January 2004, carries important safety reminders for everyone.

The investigation report, released today, explains the skipper and sole occupant of Moana, Mr Tangney, had not been wearing a lifejacket and had made no distress call. These factors indicate there was a sudden event that caused him to fall from the boat.

MSA Deputy Director, Bruce Maroc, says the accident is a wake-up call for everyone, particularly sole operators of small boats, about what can happen if you fall overboard and have no life jacket and no means of calling for help.

“Mr Tangney was a safety conscious fishermen, and the sea conditions were probably not significant enough to have prompted him to put on his life jacket. However, once in the water and without a life jacket, he would have quickly become exhausted and drowned.

“This very sad accident is a reminder that wearing a life jacket helps you stay afloat and gives you thermal protection until rescuers find you. Inflatable lifejackets, which aren’t as cumbersome when you’re working, are an excellent choice for fishermen.

“This accident also highlights the importance of keeping a waterproof hand-held VHF radio and, or, your mobile phone sealed in a plastic waterproof bag and in your pocket at all times. It’s an additional safety measure that can save your life as you can call for help when you find yourself in difficulty, no matter how sudden or unexpected,” he said.

MSA reminds people that mobile phone coverage is not as extensive as VHF radio coverage. Also, when using a VHF boaties will be communicating with anyone listening to Channel 16, which could include a nearby vessel.

ENDS

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