A YOUNG fisherman whose body was retrieved from the waters of Dunmanus Bay died from drowning, a coroner court in Bantry has said.
Kodie Healy, who died just days before his 24th birthday, on October 9th 2019, had failed to return from a fishing trip on his boat the Tommy R.
Coroner Frank O’Connell heard from Kodie’s father, John Paul Healy, that he became concerned when he could not contact his son by phone or on the VHF radio emergency channel.
In his witness statement, Mr Healy said that he got concerned around 7pm on the evening of October 9th and when he could not raise Kodie on the VHF radio, he called the emergency services.
A search, with personnel from the Coast Guard, navy, RNLI and West Cork Civil Defence, as well as over 600 local volunteers, got underway and Kodie’s body was recovered by the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue service on October 13th.
Kodie’s body was recovered underwater on the north side of Carbery island in Dunmanus Bay and was taken to Dunmanus pier where Mr Healy identified his son’s body.
Coroner Frank O’Connell read from an autopsy report by assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster who said that there were no other marks on Kodie’s body, apart from a bruise on his left thigh.
Mr O’Connell also made reference to the official report by the Marine Casualty Investigations Board (MCIB) which concluded that rough sea conditions in Dunmanus Bay were ‘more than likely’ the main factor in the tragic death of the well-loved local fisherman.
The MCIB report also stated that Kodie was an experienced seaman, adding ‘it is considered unlikely that he would have consciously navigated into these sea conditions.’
The MCIB investigation came to the conclusion that it is most likely that Kodie fell overboard.
‘It is most likely, that due to the rough weather and the bruise on Kodie’s thigh, he was lost overboard.
‘We can never know precisely what happened,’ Mr O’Connell said.
Kodie’s father John replied ‘only the sea and the man above knows what happened’.
‘Whatever did happen, Kodie’s death was accidental,’ Mr O’Connell said.
‘The autopsy report shows that the cause of Kodie’s death was drowning. And the verdict of this inquest is that Kodie died from drowning following an accident while fishing from his boat in Dunmanus Bay, and this was an accidental death.’
Mr O’Connell also offered his deepest sympathy to Kodie’s family.