A recreational fisherman died after falling overboard off the coast of Cornwall in December last year

A fatal man overboard could

have been saved had he had adequate safety equipment, finds an investigation by

the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Christopher

Newton went to sea alone on his 3.9m long boat Amy Jane on 4 December 2013, but failed to return home.

Concerned

friends and family later raised the alarm with the local coastguard and a search

operation began off the coast of Cornwall to locate the 57-year-old.

After an hour,

rescue crews found Mr Newton semi-conscious in the water and recovered him on

board. He was airlifted to hospital, where he was later declared deceased.

It’s not

known how the fisherman came to enter the water, but an investigation into the

fatality found that he didn’t have a VHF radio on board and was not wearing a

kill cord or personal locator beacon (PLB), meaning he had no way of raising

the alarm.

The report

said: “The decision to go fishing alone in early December without adequate

safety equipment, and without giving his friends and family precise

instructions on what to do should he not return at an agreed time, cost the

recreational fisherman his life.

“Had he been

wearing a PLB, his chances of survival would have been significantly increased.”

Mr Newton, who

had not fished out of Cadgwith single-handed before, died of hypothermia and

drowning.

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