Did Over Tiredness Kill Superyacht Deckhand?

web - michael hanlon

In Cumbria, Assistant Coroner Alan Sharpe has overturned the findings of a French inquiry into the death of a deckhand serving in the 62 metre superyacht Faith two years ago

The coroner has suggested that superyacht owners review procedures around boat access, working hours and record keeping.

The remarks came at an inquest held in Cumbria, England into the death of deckhand Michael Hanlon, who died while working on board the boat.

22-year-old Hanlon had signed on as deckhand on Faith in the South of France and was found drowned the following morning.

The enquiry heard he might have slipped to his death at around midnight while trying to climb up onto the upper deck.

It was suggested that he had been locked out of the yacht upon returning early from a night out with friends.

While it was acknowledged that he had been drinking alcohol, that evening the assistant coroner ruled out that it played a part in his death.

Captain Lars van Dinther the yachts Master was questioned about the protocol for keeping records of crew member’s work and rest hours. He admitted he was unaware of the hours that the crewman had worked in the week before he died.

Mr Sharpe recorded a verdict of accidental death and will be making “recommendations to yacht owners and maritime agencies about potential future procedural changes to protect anyone and everyone that operate at sea within this sometimes dangerous and unpredictable environment.”

The deckhand was working on the luxury vessel as part of his degree with the UK Sailing Academy (UKSA). Since his death, tens of thousands of pounds has been raised in his memory to fund further scholarships at UKSA.