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Co Down fisherman fighting for his life after accident on boat

By Staff Reporter

Published 11/08/2016

Head injury: Dinu Aurelian
Head injury: Dinu Aurelian

A young Co Down fisherman is fighting for his life in hospital following an accident at sea.

Dinu Aurelian, originally from Ovidiu, Romania, but now based in Ardglass, was injured on board the Sea Harvester fishing vessel last Wednesday afternoon. The incident occurred near the Scottish island of Ailsa Craig.

Dinu was airlifted to hospital in Glasgow where he is understood to be in an induced coma after suffering a serious head injury.

His mother has flown from Romania to be with him in the specialist intensive care unit, where his girlfriend is also present.

The prawn trawler, which was originally towed to Campbeltown following the accident, is now back in Ardglass and a formal investigation by marine authorities into the incident is under way.

Dinu lived on the boat at the harbour in Ardglass, as is the norm for a number of foreign nationals working on local fishing boats. 

Dinu’s Facebook page shows him proudly standing by the Sea Harvester vessel he refers to as ‘My Boat’ as well as photos of his catches. He also posted photos of him socialising in local bars.

According to residents his high standard of English helped him to mix well with other people in the village, who are concerned to hear what has happened.

Local community group Street Safe has appealed for people to pray for the fisherman.

On their Facebook page they posted: “Can we ask everyone on our page also in our community to light a candle and say a prayer for local Ardglass fisherman Dinu Aurelian who is

critically ill in hospital following an accident at sea ... we pray that he makes a full recovery.”

Dick James, of The Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation Ltd, explained that his organisation offered advice and help to boat owners in such circumstances.

He said they were awaiting the results of an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to establish what exactly had happened.

“They will look over the vessel in terms of safety regulations to see if there are any anomalies,” he said.

Mr James said Dinu was a senior deck hand and keen worker on the boat. “He is a terribly nice fellow who is well skilled,” added Mr James.

“He is a popular fellow in the village.”

A spokesman for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said that it was investigating the incident.

“MAIB has started an investigation of the serious injury to a crewman on board the UK registered fishing vessel Sea Harvester when 7.3 miles north west of Ailsa Craig, Scotland, on August 3,” the spokesman said.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed it was also conducting an investigation.

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