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Second fisherman dies after toxic fumes leak

Killybegs harbour

Killybegs harbour

A SECOND fisherman has died just days after being overcome by fumes while working on a trawler in Killybegs on Monday.
His crew mate,  James Joyce (27), died on Monday night having been placed in an induced coma earlier in the day.
The man from the Philippines had been working on a boat owned by Mr Joyce’s uncle. He is understood to be in his late forties and had been fighting for his life in Letterkenny General Hospital. The men were both overcome by fumes in the same incident.

Mr Joyce’s funeral took place today in Galway.

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The incident occurred on Monday afternoon on the Galway-registered Oilean an Oir which was docked in Killybegs. Fire crews wearing specialist breathing equipment had to be called in to take the men out of the trawler.

The men were cleaning tanks in a refrigeration unit when the Galway man fell into the hold. The Filipino man went to his assistance but was also overcome with fumes after calling for help from other crew-members.

Local Councillor Niamh Kennedy said: “They were overcome by fumes. They were cleaning out one of the tanks, a hold where the fish are held. It was empty and they found stagnant water in the pipework.

“It had been lying there for a while and it is believed the two men inhaled ammonia and hydrogen sulphide gas from organic matter that had been rotting.
Separate investigations are underway by Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority.

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