Toxic gas killed Filipino, crewmate in ‘15 Irish trawler mishap
SAN FRANCISCO – A recently concluded investigation into the 2015 deaths of two Irish fishing trawler crewmembers, including a Filipino, stated that toxic gas from a mixture of stagnant water and seawater in the boat’s refrigeration system killed the two.
The men who died were were Joel Alama, 46, a Filipino and Aran Islands-born James Joyce, 27.
The report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board recommended that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport issue a warning of the hazards associated with toxic gas generation and retention in refrigerated seawater (RSW) systems of fishing trawlers, according to the Irish Examiner.
The deaths occurred on August 24, 2015 during a routine maintenance of the FV Oileán an Óir fishing trawler while it was docked in the Donegal port of Killybegs.
Alama and Joyce were assigned to run the system to check if it was operational. Alama raised the alarm after Joyce was overcome by fumes. Alama man went into the tank to aid Joyce but also became ill. Joyce died later that evening; Alama died four days later.
A gas monitor indicated high levels of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) were present the water that had being lying dormant in the circulation line. The two crewmembers died from inhaling lethal levels of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) accompanied by elevated levels of ammonia (NH3).
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