« BackCoroner warns of dangers of having dogs on boats

South Kerry coroner Terence Casey has warned of the dangers of bringing dogs onto small boats.

Mr Casey was speaking at the inquest of Kenmare man, William Topham, who drowned when his boat overturned.

The jury at the inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.

coroners court

William Topham of Greenane Heights, Greenane, Kenmare, and his companion Simon O’Reilly and their dogs had set out on a duck shooting expedition n to Kelly’s Island on Kenmare Bay on January 31st.

The 55-year-old, father of three was not wearing a life jacket, the inquest heard.

About 300 yards from the shore, the Springer Spaniel dogs started messing and a combination of this and the waves and the men trying to turn their canoe caused it to overturn.

Mr O’Reilly managed to make it to the island by clinging to the boat and was rescued from the rocks.

Mr Topham’s body was recovered by diving instructor Paul Tanner the following day at Templenoe Pier.

A post-mortem examination carried out by Dr Margot Bolster found death was due to drowning.

The coroner thanked the gardaí, fire, ambulance and rescue service and all those who had helped in the search and recovery operation.

He also stressed the importance of wearing life jackets.