Justice for Jacob
My Brother Jacob Nicol is a 22 year old engineer employed on board mega yacht Kibo. He has been following his dreams of travelling for the past year but on the 3rd May 2015, Jacob was asked to clean the side of the yacht as they were anchored some 300 meters from Puerto Portals, Mallorca. This was a task that he had never undertaken before as his job revolved around the running and maintenance of the engine. Also, he wasn't the strongest of swimmers so would not have been the best choice for such a duty. After he was rigged up to the fender hook with his seat and lowered down the side, he was left alone to clean the chrome strip. At some point during the task, the fender hook that he was rigged to gave way, slipping from the side of the yacht. He was hit on the head by the 20kg fender hook and fell into the water where he was left alone, still tied to the fender hook, which began to drag him down as he lost consciousness. The Chief Officer claims to have seen him in the water and recognised that he looked scared. Rather than throwing a buoyancy ring to him, one of which was a few feet away from her, she decided to calmly walk away to find somebody to help him, leaving him alone, unwatched and seriously injured.
By the time he was spotted by the other yacht staff that had been roused by the chief officer, he had already sunk under the surface water and was only visible due to the brightness of his white shirt from the top deck. Several younger yacht staff were in the water trying their hardest to get him back up to safety but the mix of youthful fear and lack of training made this impossible - Finally, as Jacob slipped out of sight, the "man overboard" call was made. Once the captain was eventually alerted, he had to rig up into his diving gear as other yacht staff worked to collect the oxygen canisters etc., all of this taking up valuable time that Jacob didn't have. Eventually, the captain had been rigged up into his dive gear and was in the water. The captain said that he struggled to locate Jacob in the murky waters and it wasn't actually until he dropped deeper, that he spotted Jacob at the bottom, still attached to the fender hook, rigged seat etc. The captain grabbed him and brought him back up onto the yacht where CPR was immediately administered. No pulse could be found and he wasn't breathing as he lay on the bottom deck. 40 minutes later, Jacob was collected by the Spanish ambulance service, by which point due to the hard work of the young men and staff nurse with their persistent CPR, a very slight pulse could be found.
He was transported to the fantastic Hospital Universitari Son Espases on the island where he was stabilised and given lifesaving treatment. He remained here, in a coma, for 10 days before being repatriated back to Shropshire where he continues to undergo lifesaving treatments. He is rigged up to a ventilator via a tracheostomy, is on 3 different antibiotics to fight off the several infections that he has cultured in his lungs and throat and is only able to open his eyes from time to time. The prognosis is very severe brain damage caused by hypoxia (drowning) and hospital staff, although doing everything they can within their power, are unsure how much progress he can possibly make.
This whole incident could have been avoided if a few basic safety regulations had been adhered to, namely:
1) He should have been wearing a life jacket/buoyancy aid
2) He should have had a life line connected to a static section of the yacht
3) He should have had someone watching him at all times to ensure that nothing went awry.
4) The officer on board who first spotted him in the water shouldn't have walked away and left him - they should have immediately raised the alarm and thrown him the buoyancy ring that was attached to the boat wall just a few feet away.
5) Choosing Jacob to perform this task was an error - he had never done any tasks like this before, he was not the best swimmer on board and he should have been performing engineering duties or lighter deck duties.
6) Rigging an 80kg man to 20kg fender hook that was not bolted down but simply hung over the edge of the boat is ludicrous - this cleaning technique was destined to fail and this is fairly obvious.
Jacob is a young funny genuine and caring guy. He has made such an impact in so many other people’s lives, that we have truly been blessed. The saddest thing in this situation is reminiscing about the awesome and funny things Jacob has said and done, knowing he may never be the same Jacob we all know and love. Our hearts break at the thought that through irresponsible safety management, we have all lost a part of him. All of our lives will be different and painful along the way but we are thankful that he is still alive! We will take each day at a time but will remain hopeful that he will regain his strength, character and will recover from this horrendous ordeal.
If you could please help us get Justice for Jacob by sharing his story and donating to help towards legal fees and help with his lifelong medical care we will be forever thankful.
We are so so happy about this. We don't need to worry about where Jacob will live now. It will take some time for the paper work to go through and we have to wait for the courts to appoint a deputy to say the adaptations can go ahead. However in time, Mum will be able to be by Jacob's side and we can see him more than if he was in a nursing home. Jacob has a home yay!
More GOOD NEWS!! After speaking with Jacob's therapist she has recommended Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) software and equipment. As Jacob can't communicate through speech and writing this will give him the opportunity to express his feelings and thoughts.
From the incredible people who have donated to us, to help towards legal fees and medical equipment we will be using some of the Gofundme donatations to purchase these items. We would like to thank everyone for being so kind and allowing us to purchase Jacob medical equipment to help in his recovery.
There is an iTunes App called Proloquo2go that we will purchase alongside an iPad to download it on. From here we can then also download music apps, I have spotted a guitar app where you can strum on the strings. This particular app will help with his hand and eye coordination. I'm sure there are a million other apps that will benefit Jacob, if you know of any please get in touch.
We have also come across the EyeGaze which tracks your eye movements and allows you to form sentences simply by looking at the words! We are not sure if Jacob will be able to speak fully in the future and with the EyeGaze it expands with the users abilities. It starts off with basic programmes and goes all the way to allowing the user to send emails, text messages, excel, word documents and web browsing. Imagine how much that can help someone who can't communicate fully though speech and movement. I've watched videos of the people it helps and their smiles say it all.
Again thank you to everyone for your support in helping us to pay towards our legal fees and alternative medical equipment and treatment. I will be block booking Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Jacob now that we have medical professionals from the centre and a private neurologist saying it won't cause any harm to try.
That's what life is about, trying and never ever giving up hope that something could help make life a little bit easier!
I'm sorry but I have to say this... Why is the family foundrasing money for Jacobs recovery when this should be payed by the people directly responsible for this. Also we are talking about a billionaires industry he worked on a superyacht! There is people responsible for what it happened to Jacob and they should be paying for his long term treatment. Also does the family have informed about this incident to the owners of the boat ? There are many ways to make this happen in a legal manner there is a union for yachties named Nautilus see the website below. They work for yachties rights or incidents they can give the family some legal advise and feel you what to do to get some compensation if there is the case. But as this article mentioned above there is people responsible for this tragic accident. I'm sorry but I have to say this... Why is the family foundrasing money for Jacobs recovery when this should be payed by the people directly responsible for this. Also we are talking about a billionaires industry he worked on a superyacht! There is people responsible for what it happened to Jacob and they should be paying for his long term treatment. Also does the family have informed about this incident to the owners of the boat ? There are many ways to make this happen in a legal manner there is a union for yachties named Nautilus see the website below. They work for yachties rights or incidents they can give the family some legal advise and feel you what to do to get some compensation if there is the case. Nautilus int.org
Hi there, I'm a Yacht Crew, a Nurse onboard several private yachts and reading the article, there were violations. First of all, he is an Engineer and it wasn't part of his duties to clean the yacht . He should oversea the engine maintenance and be on watch in the Engine Control Room. It was supposedly the AB or Deckhand who should do this. I know that yacht crew are obliged to be rotated but only to the point where the contract states. You are right, the C/O who saw him should never leave him behind but instead to keep him insight, throw the lifebuoy ring and call the bridge and declare "Man Overboard" , so that the Nurse and stretcher team can be notified allowing more time to prepare the emergency equipment. There were even no lifejacket worn that time. Also, he should not do it alone, but he should have a buddy incase something happens. What was the CCTV doing, it should be reviewed. I'm praying for justice for Jacob. Godspeed
I was a fellow yachty about 5 years ago and I know how hard everyone works on the yachts. I just want to show my heart felt support to the family of Jacob. I could not imagine what he went through and what his entire family and friends are going through right now. Prayers are being sent!!!! God Bless
Hello Cynthia, Jacobs sister here. The donations that are being received will be used to first and foremost go towards getting Justice for Jacob, legal fees, independant expert opinions to clarify how and why there is criminal neglagence by those involved in setting up the safety equipment (ir lack of) they issued to Jacob to perform the duty. Also to highlight that the Chief officer whom found my brother in the water. Failed to do the man over board procedure which has resulted in Jacobs injuries, coma, drowing, brain hypoxia leaving him with severe brain damage. Im sure in time the insurance wil pay out. I will contact the company you mentioned. Thank you for your help and concern. Take care, Jenade
We lost a crew member in Australia a few years ago,it was not due to negligence but the transport department investigation was treated as a crime scene and they left no stone unturned,i do not see why this unfortunate incident will not be treated the same,my heart breaks for you all ,as i can only say as we all felt when we lost one of are own was sheer grief,even after two years it still hurts,you will get justice that i am certain just make sure you get the best marine Lawyer available possibly from the USA,god bless you all.
As M/Y Kibo is a red ensigned flagged yacht, The captain is legally obliged to report any accidents onboard, So there should be an investigation ongoing by The MAIB (marine accident investigation board) this is not to apportion blame , but to try and stop this sort of accident happening again. But more importantly the MCA should be also doing there own independent investigation and they can and should take this to a court of law.
So sorry Rip Jacob
This is a very tragic situation indeed. My heart goes to Nicol and his family! I think the owner or owners of the boat where he was working should be totally held accountable for what happened to Nicol! I don't understand why it hasn't happened yet! All the bills, including Legal ones, should be on them! He wasn't supposed to be doing what he was asked to do! I would go after them with everything I had!
Hello i am chef cook Hany fisal
Hi there, My name is Josh Saunders, I write for the national newspapers and women's magazines. We'd be really keen on sharing your story as well as trying to raise more money for the fund through national articles and can also pay for any articles. Can you call 0121 616 1100 - email, firstname.lastname@example.org ; or add me on facebook - Josh Saunders (with the same picture as this post).
Hi Jenade, I'm a reporter for The Times and am trying to get in touch. Could you email me a contact, please? John.Simpson@TheTimes.co.uk
I am so sorry to hear of this terrible accident & the lack of effort taken to save this young man the injuries he sustained. Will be praying for Jacobs recovery & his family, the drs. & nurses who are taking care of him. God Bless him & give him the miracle he needs. He really sounds like a wonderful young man who does not deserve to be in such a state for doing a job he was not required to do.
This just breaks my heart that Jacob and your family are going through this. I pray for his recovery and for strength for your family, as well as a resolution to the carelessness of the crew, violations, etc.
What a tragic story - my best wishes to Jacob. You need to do some "checking up" to find out who is doing what. As has already been mentioned, the Kibo is UK flagged (registered in the Cayman Islands) and I think will be required to conform to UK maritime Health and Safety Requirements - one requirement of which is that there should be a safe system of work in place. If a safe system of work was in place, from what you say, it wasn't being used. This accident happened in Spanish Territorial Waters so the Spanish will probably have primacy in any investigation. I suggest you contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (google their phone number) to find out if they have been informed of this accident. You could also do the same with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch - they will have to liaise with their Spanish counterparts in any investigation . As with any investigation, the sooner this gets under way the better the chance of getting to the truth. I wish you well
My heart goes out to this delightful young man and his family. I am so saddened to read about this incident. I wish I could contribute and help fund his legal fees to fight for justice but unfortunately I am not able to at this time. But I can pray...for his recovery. There is always hope where there is life. Bless all the wonderful folk who are assisting with funding and God be with those nursing him and caring for his healing process. And comfort and strength to his loved ones in the days ahead xx