Report On Death Of Neil Murray, Husband Of Tory MP Sheryll Murray

11/07/2011 06:30 pm ET | Updated Jan 07, 2012

The fisherman husband of a Tory MP died at sea after a toggle on his hood got entangled in his net, according to an official accident report.

Alone on the boat named after his son, Neil Murray, 57, was pulled on to the rotating net drum which hauls the net up and down, losing an arm and sustaining fatal injuries, said the report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

The vessel, Our Boy Andrew, was found about 28 miles from its last sighted position off the Cornish coast after an extensive search and rescue operation.

Mr Murray, married to East Cornwall MP, Sheryll Murray, had left Looe in Cornwall early on the morning of March 24 this year.

At about noon he had tried to manually guide the port-side net on to the net drum.

The MAIB report said: "The investigation concluded that a drawstring toggle on the left-hand side of the storm hood on the skipper's jacket had become entangled in the net as it was being hauled on board.

"Evidence indicated that the skipper had then reached towards the operating control lever to stop the net drum. He was unable to do so, and died as a result of injuries to his upper torso."

After a long search, two lifeboatmen from Fowey in Cornwall boarded the vessel just before midnight.

The report said: "They sighted the skipper's body on the net drum and soon established that there were no signs of life."

The MAIB said the equipment and process used on Our Boy Andrew to haul in her fishing gear compromised safety for a lone fisherman because it was necessary to manually feed the net onto the net drum, and this exposed the fisherman to the hazard of being snagged by the net and dragged onto the drum.

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