Lack of safety equipment cost fisherman his life
Yachting & Boating World: A recreational fisherman died after falling overboard off the coast of Cornwall in December last year. The fatal overboard man could have been saved had he had adequate safety equipment, finds an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
Christopher Newton went to sea alone on his 3.9m long boat Amy Jane on 4 December 2013, but failed to return home. Concerned friends and family later raised the alarm with the local coastguard and a search operation began off the coast of Cornwall to locate the 57-year-old.
After an hour, rescue crews found Mr Newton semi-conscious in the water and recovered him on board. He was airlifted to hospital, where he was later declared deceased.
It’s not known how the fisherman came to enter the water, but an investigation into the fatality found that he didn’t have a VHF radio on board and was not wearing a kill cord or personal locator beacon (PLB), meaning he had no way of raising the alarm.
The report said: “The decision to go fishing alone in early December without adequate safety equipment, and without giving his friends and family precise instructions on what to do should he not return at an agreed time, cost the recreational fisherman his life. “Had he been wearing a PLB, his chances of survival would have been significantly increased.” Mr Newton, who had not fished out of Cadgwith single-handed before, died of hypothermia and drowning.