Two owners of a fishing vessel have pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations after a 35-year-old Ukrainian fisherman fell into the Irish Sea and drowned.
Andrius Kalinda (now known to be Nikolai Nedoliz) was swept overboard from the fishing vessel Zenith while hauling nets 29 miles off the Kilkeel coast on January 27, 2012. None of the crew was wearing lifejackets at the time.
The death was blamed on the unsafe practice of crew standing on the top rail at the back of the Zenith, according to the report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) investigation found that two crew members, including the deceased, did not hold all of the required safety training certificates. Two of the crew held no safety training certificates at all.
The owners of the vessel – John More (57) and David Campbell (50) – pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Magistrates Court yesterday to breaching the Fishing Vessels (Safety Training) Regulations 1989 section 2.
Each was fined £1,250, plus £75 costs.
The Zenith was registered in the fishing town of Kilkeel in Co Down.
MCA area operations manager Captain Bill Bennett said: "Ensuring that fishermen undertake safety training has been an ongoing issue for many years. The safety training regulations came into force in 1989.
"The safety record within the industry as a whole is still far from satisfactory.
"Where the regulations are breached the MCA will investigate, and where appropriate persons will be prosecuted."