Tag Archives: Marine Accident Investigation Branch

The Fight to Raise the Sapphire – ‘We proved everybody wrong and we got our boys home’

When four crewmen perished on the Peterhead fishing boat Sapphire 20 years ago, relatives began a campaign to have their bodies recovered from inside the sunken trawler. The 76-tonne boat sank in the North Sea, 12 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast, on 1 October 1997. The UK government refused to finance the recovery of the bodies, 270ft (90m) below the surface, saying it was policy not to bring back the bodies of those lost at sea. Shipping minister Glenda Jackson and Prime Minister Tony Blair were criticised for the decision at the time. The families of the dead men began an appeal to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund the operation. click here to read the story 10:28

Sapphire tragedy impact being felt 20 years later – “You’re thinking to yourself: ‘There but for the grace of God . . .” “But you never get used to these tragedies or the impact they have on so many different people. click here to read the story 

A Sad Update: Fishermen found clinging to capsized boat after major search and rescue operation

Fishermen have been found clinging to the hull of an upturned boat after a major search and rescue operation was launched last night. Three lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were launched on Tuesday evening in a search for an overdue commercial fishing vessel. The RNLI lifeboats from Plymouth, Salcombe and Looe were joined by the coastguard rescue helicopter from Newquay in the search which began at about 10pm.,,, Fishing boat FV Solstice was reported missing having sailed from Plymouth. click here to read the story 11:46

Man dies as fishing boat capsizes off Devon coast – A fisherman who went missing after his boat capsized off the Devon coast has died, investigators have confirmed. His body was recovered from the Solstice after two men clinging to the hull were rescued, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said. sadly, click here to read the story 20:13

Boat owner admits safety breaches following death of Northumberland fishermen

The owner of a boat on which two Northumberland fishermen died of carbon monoxide poisoning has pleaded guilty to breaching safety laws. Mark Arries, 26, and Edward Ide, 21, were found dead on the fishing vessel Eshcol as it was moored in Whitby harbour in January 2014. The pair were using the grill of a gas cooker to warm the boat overnight as they slept. A trial is being held at Leeds Crown Court to determine if boat owner Timothy Bowman-Davies was aware that the crew were using the cooker as a heating source. Bowman-Davies, 44, from Haverford West, Pembrokeshire, admitted failing to ensure that the ship was operated safely and that work equipment was maintained efficiently. click here to read the story 13:39

Marine Accident Investigation Branch – Fishermen ‘worked to exhaustion’ before death in sinking

Martin Johnstone, Christopher Morrison and Paul Alliston died when the Louise went down in the Outer Hebrides in April last year. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) found a series of mistakes contributed to the sinking of the boat, while the emergency response was delayed by almost an hour. The Louisa’s four-man crew were asleep when the creel boat began taking on water at anchor off Mingulay. They had worked 20-hour shifts for four days before the sinking, sleeping between stringing creels and eating snacks as they went. An alarm intended to warn them about flooding had been disabled and they did not wake up until the Louisa was already sinking rapidly. The men abandoned the boat but were unable to inflate their faulty life raft. click here to read the story 20:56

Owner of fire-stricken fishing vessel hits out at safety report findings

The owner of a fishing boat destroyed by a fire has accused safety chiefs of criticising his crew for saving their own lives by escaping from the vessel. Three trawlermen on the Ardent II scrambled to the safety of the Peterhead quay only after one spotted smoke when he got up at 5am to use the toilet. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) launched an investigation into the incident and published its findings yesterday. The MAIB found the crew might have saved the 131ft vessel if they had fought the flames rather than leaping ashore. click here to read the story 12:14

‘Don’t worry, I can do it’ – Tragic final words of experienced fisherman who drowned at sea

A Fisherman with ten years experience downed at sea while trying to untangle a line after telling crew members “don’t worry I can do it”. Darren Brown was swept away while trying to pull free a whelk pot and his body was never found, despite an eight-hour search by lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter. The 37-year-old was lost in the 13C waters in June. A report into his death found a lifebuoy which could have helped to save his life was not “readily available”. On June 9 this year, deckhand Darren and his crewmates were on board the whelk boat, ‘Our Sarah Jane’, which had set sail from Shoreham, West Sussex, in good conditions. Just before midday a fishing line attached to one of the whelk pots became caught in the propeller, tying the boat to the seabed. The skipper radioed for help, but Darren said “I’ll be alright. I can do it, don’t worry” before jumping overboard with a knife in his hand. Read the rest of the story here 14:20

Remains of fisherman missing at sea for a year found – inquest to be held next year

3091779a9The remains of a missing fisherman were found a year after his vessel sank four miles off Rame Head. The scalloper JMT – skippered by 22-year-old Michael Hill and crewed by Shane Hooper – sank at around 3pm on July 10, 2015. The body of Mr Hooper, a 33-year-old father of three from Teignmouth, was found in a life belt by the RNLI after an air and sea search. Despite the wreck being lifted from the seabed, the body of Mr Hill, also from Teignmouth was not found. The vessel was owned by Mr Hill’s father, Mickey. Remains of Mr Hill were found by a fishing vessel on July 6 this year. The Herald has learned the vessel, from Falmouth, was trawling in the area of where the JMT went down on July 6 this year. As it trawled for scallops, the crew dredged up debris, including human remains. Read the rest here 14:38

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation opposes compulsory wearing of lifejackets for commercial fishermen.

ORA pfdThe MAIB said that the four fishermen who lost their lives during three accidents off Orkney, the Western Isles and Pembrokeshire could all have survived had they been wearing personal floating devices (PFDs). With the loss of nine fishermen at sea so far this year, the MAIB said the rate with which fishermen were losing their lives by drowning was showing no sign of abating. Safety officer for the SFF, Derek Cardno said an industry-led a scheme to supply PFDs to every fisherman in Scotland had a strong uptake. He added: “We are not convinced that making the wearing of a PFD a mandatory requirement will make the sole difference that is required. “We believe it is much better to focus on education and creating a new mind-set among fishermen. Read the rest here 13:53

Marine Accident Investigation Branch: Royal Navy submarine towing trawler endangered fishermen’s lives

A Royal Navy submarine which towed a fishing trawler at speed through the Irish Sea endangered the lives of the crew, inspectors said. The Karen was trailed backwards at seven knots in April 2015 after the sub snagged in its nets 15 miles from Ardglass – one of Northern Ireland’s main fishing ports in the south east. Commanders were unaware of the collision until three hours later after they failed to realise they were passing beneath a fishing vessel with nets rather than a merchant cargo or passenger ship, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report said. Steve Clinch, chief inspector of marine accidents, said: “Eighteen months ago, the actions of the command team of a Royal Navy submarine placed the lives of the crew of the trawler Karen in danger. Read the rest here 20:11

Safety failings on fishing trawler Aquarius led to fisherman’s death

An investigation has revealed that the twin rig trawler, Aquarius was “a poorly run vessel”, issued with 137 deficiencies in the years prior to the death of Nuertey Annang. The Ghanaian-born fisherman, who was 47, died on 17 August 2015 when a rope stopper parted and he was thrown “violently” overboard. The vessel was around two miles east of Aberdeen harbour in Scotland when the incident happened. Despite searches, Annang’s body was never found. A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) identifies that “The skipper and owners of Aquarius consistently prioritised the catching of fish over the safety of the vessel and its crew. This resulted in the promotion of a poor safety culture.” It found that the crew, nor their vessel “had been adequately prepared to deal with such emergency situations.” Read the story here 13:40

More fishermen have lost their lives in 2016 than in whole of 2015

s_pottenSimon Potten, Head of Safety, Training and Services reacts to the publication of the MAIB’s Annual Report and the steps Seafish are taking to tackle its tragic findings. The publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s (MAIB) Annual Report for 2015 provides an opportunity for the fishing industry and all those actively trying to improve fishing safety to take stock of how well we are doing, he said. The two most reliable indicators of fishing safety are the number of fishing vessels lost and, tragically, the number of fishermen lost. In 2015, 13 fishing vessels were lost, representing 0.23% of the fleet. What is more saddening is that more fishermen have lost lives in 2016 already, than in the whole of 2015, which we revealed last month. This is unacceptable and it is vital that the industry as a whole do more to improve the safety record of the fishing industry. Read the story here 07:41

Marine Accident Investigation Branch reveals shocking UK fishermen death toll

s300_MAIBlogoHiResThe UK’s fishing fleet is suffering from one of its deadliest periods in a decade with more deaths recorded here than in Alaskan waters where reality TV show the ‘Deadliest Catch’ is filmed. Nine fishermen’s lives have been lost at sea in the first six months of this year in six different incidents, a worryingly high figure for this stage in the year and there is concern this number could rise. Now more dangerous than Alaska, recognised for its treacherous waters as part of the reality television series ‘Deadliest Catch’, the UK has seen an increase of 29% on 2015 full year figures (seven fishermen lost their lives), as reported by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) today in its 2015 Annual Report. The MAIB’s Annual Report for 2015 comes as Seafish also warns that the summer months (June to September) are when commercial fishermen are more likely to have a non fatal accident which leads to major injury when working at sea.  A common misperception is that these accidents are more likely to happen during bad weather during the winter months. Read the rest here 13:18

MAIB ‘Safety Lessons’ published one year after the tragic death of two Teignmouth fishermen

JMTA list of so-called ‘Safety Lessons’ has been published following the sinking of a fishing boat in which two men from Teignmouth died. Skipper Michael Hill, who was 22, and crewman Shane Hooper, a 33-year-old father of three, died when the scalloper JMT went down four miles off Rame Head last July. The MAIB investigation identified that: • JMT capsized and sank at around 1501 on 9 July 2015; the weather was good at the time, with slight seas. • The vessel had only 25% of the reserve of stability required by larger fishing vessels. • The vessel’s stability had been adversely affected by structural modifications and by aspects of the vessel’s operation. • Capsize was possibly triggered by emptying the starboard dredges while the port dredges and their contents remained suspended. • The crew’s likelihood of survival was reduced by not having the opportunity to broadcast a distress message, release the EPIRB from its stowage, lifejackets not being worn and the failure of the liferaft to surface. Read the report, and the article here 12:11

Marine Accident Investigation Branch: Louisa has been raised and is being transported to Glasgow

JS90097914INVESTIGATORS probing the sinking of a fishing boat off the Western Isles have issued images of the stricken vessel being lifted from the seabed. Three crew members were lost when the Louisa sank while at anchor near the island of Mingulay, south of Barra, early on April 9. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out an investigation into the tragedy along with Police Scotland. As part of the probe, the Louisa has been raised and is being transported to Glasgow for further examination. “Our investigation aims to establish why Louisa sank and why lives were lost. A full and detailed report will be published at the end of our investigation. Read the rest here 12:40

Investigators claim Skipper to blame for sinking of north-east trawler

A skipper of a north-east trawler that sank off the Atlantic coast has been blamed for causing it to capsize. The Banff-registered Kairos sank off the Isles of Scilly last May, after overturning as the crew tried to recover a lost net in rough seas. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch launched a probe into the incident, and released their findings yesterday – ruling skipper Alan Bolt’s actions were “directly” to blame for the boat being lost. The body ruled the 46-year-old did not consider the hazards of continuing to try and retrieve a lost net in worsening sea conditions, and that the boat’s loss was “inevitable”. Read the story here 14:10

North-east boat that sank and killed three fishermen had fatal flaw on deck

Investigators probing a trawler disaster which left three fishermen dead found a fatal flaw on the deck of the vessel. A survey of the wreck of the Ocean Way revealed ports designed to allow water to drain away were not big enough to stop it being swamped by the sea. The 55ft Fraserburgh-registered vessel capsized and sank in bad weather off the north-east coast of England. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has now released its report,, Read the article here 17:58