The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has emphasised the importance of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) for people using recreational vessels on rivers and lakes. 

The Board has recommended that the Minister for Transport issue a Marine Notice to reinforce the measures needed for the safe operation of recreational craft. 

The call follows an investigation into the death of a 78-year-old Mayo man, who drowned on Lough Mask last year. 

Sean Moloney, from Ballinrobe, was reported missing on Friday, 8 March, 2019. It is thought he got into difficulties while negotiating a section of the lake.

The well-known angler had fished the lake for many years and had no known medical conditions. 

Efforts to locate him continued for three weeks, with poor weather hampering progress at various stages. 

On 30 March, members of the Mayo based Granuaile Sub Aqua club located his body, a short distance away from where his boat had been found. 

The MCIB said Mr Moloney was not wearing a PFD and, along with the impact of cold water shock, this greatly reduced his chances of survival. 

Investigators also concluded that a significant change in weather conditions on 8 March would have led to very challenging conditions, with westerly winds of force 8 or 9 recorded later that evening.