31/01/2002

Investigation begins into Carlingford Lough fishing tragedy

Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have begun a full investigation into the sinking in Carlingford Lough of the Kilkeel-based fishing boat Charisma, which left a 22-year old man dead and two others in hospital.

Mr Mark Speers died in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry, after being rescued by emergency services during an operation that included police divers, a Royal Navy patrol vessel and a RAF helicopter.

The two survivors, Mr Kevin Kearney and Mr Kevin Trainor, were picked up by another fishing boat, Cassie Anne, when the boat began experiencing difficulties, but Mr Speers was trapped in the vessel. He was later pulled from the water by police divers, but died soon after arriving at hospital.

Local community leaders, coast guards and police have all expressed the deep sadness that has overcome the whole area since the tragedy.

The police investigation is expected to centre on the death of Mr Speers, the results of which will be passed to the local Coroner who will decide if an inquest is required, while the MAIB will focus on how the vessel foundered.

A separate branch within the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR), the report will be made directly to the Secretary of State. (GB)

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