Tag Archives: Marine Accident Investigation Branch

Family of Robert Morley ‘bemused’ by F/V Joanna C tragedy report

Robert Morley’s stepdad and mother said the outcome of an investigation into the sinking of the F/V Joanna C had not given them the “peace of mind” they hoped for. Barry and Jackie Woolford are awaiting the inquest into Robert’s death to clear up a number of “anomalies”. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report described how Robert was thrown from the boat as it capsized and he hung onto a lifebuoy before he eventually drowned. “We lost our son but we’re really none the wiser as to why. We know how but we don’t know why. “There are anomalies which we want to ask about at the inquest.” >click to read< 19:33

F/V Nicola Faith: Fisherman’s ‘harsh working conditions’ revealed in investigation

Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the Nicola Faith when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. It capsized and sank 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea. A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found skipper Carl McGrath pushed his crew harder than most in search of greater productivity. Aged 34, Mr McGrath had been the boat’s skipper for some three years. Previously a builder and steel fabricator, he had had no fishing experience prior to skippering the Nicola Faith. Despite this, he had completed all mandatory fishing industry safety training courses. Neither had Ross Ballantine, 39, any prior experience of fishing before taking a job on the Nicola Faith, on which he had been working for about eight months. The youngest crew member was Alan Minard, 20, who had been crewing on Nicola Faith for just two weeks. >click to read< 14:00

F/V Johanna C: Life raft failure blamed after fishermen deaths

Two fishermen died after their trawler capsized and their life raft failed to inflate, a report has said. Investigators said the failure of the life raft “impacted” the chances of two men surviving after they were thrown into the water when the Joanna C sank in November 2020. One of the men in the water died, but the other was later rescued. A third crew member drowned after being trapped in the sinking boat, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said. MAIB chief inspector Andrew Moll said: “Unfortunately, Joanna C’s ‘float-free’ life raft arrangements did not work as expected. >click to read< 10:38

F/V Nicola Faith investigation complete almost a year after wreck was raised

The investigation into the sinking Nicola Faith fishing boat which claimed the lives of its crew is now complete almost one year after the vessel was found. Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the vessel when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. The wreckage was lifted from the seabed last May in a two day operation before being transported to a secure location for further investigation. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch are due to report their findings in a report to be published in the coming weeks. >click to read< 09:08

Investigation launched into capsize of Peterhead-based trawler

An investigation is under way into the capsize of a Peterhead-based trawler, where one crew member died and three others were taken to hospital. The 78ft Njord had a total of eight crew members on board when it got into difficulty in the North Sea, about 100 nautical miles west of Stavanger in Norway. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has now confirmed an investigation has been officially launched to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident. >click to read< 08:45

Fishermen drowned after ‘unstable’ trawler capsized and sank despite rescuer efforts

The deaths of two fishermen who drowned after their boat sank on the west coast could have been avoided had the boat not been “intrinsically unstable”, a sheriff has ruled. Przemyslaw Krawczyk and Duncan MacDougall both died when the fishing boat they were working on, the Nancy Glen, capsized and sank in Loch Fyne on January 18, 2018. Skipper Mr MacDougall, 46, and crewman Mr Krawczyk, 38, both fathers and husbands who lived in Tarbert, were trapped on board and drowned when the trawler sank. A third fisherman, John Miller, raised the alarm and was the sole survivor after he was pulled from the water by the crew of a passing boat. >click to read< 15:16

F/V Joanna C: Sinking findings released year after tragedy

Experts investigating the sinking of the scalloper F/V Joanna C, which went down in November last year with the loss of two lives, have completed their investigation. The crew were recovering their fishing gear when the boat capsized, the interim report confirms. A full report is now being prepared on the incident in which Brixham fisherman Adam Harper and crewmate Robert Morley died. Skipper Dave Bickerstaff was rescued from the sea after hanging on to a lifebuoy for four hours after raising the alarm. >click to read< 13:17

F/V Nicola Faith: Families to set up charity to improve sea safety

Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine, and Skipper Carl McGrath died after their boat, the F/V Nicola Faith, sank off Colwyn Bay in January. Their relatives plan to work with organisations and launch a charity to improve safety at sea in their memory. “We will campaign and explore for change,” the men’s families said.,, Nathania Minard, mother of Alan Minard, the youngest crew member, said: “This is in the early stages, we’ve set ourselves a big task and we’re trying to take baby steps towards it. Video, >click to read< 08:50

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency to carry out unannounced inspections of fishing vessels across the UK.

The agency said that inspections are being carried out as part of ongoing work to improve fishing vessel safety in an industry recognized to be one of the most dangerous in the world. Since November 2020 there have been eight deaths in the industry including one in Shetland when a fisherman fell overboard from a local trawler in February. Between 2011and 2020 the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) reported 60 fatalities from UK fishing vessels. >click to read< 21:50

F/V Nicola Faith has been raised from sea off the coast of North Wales

F/V Nicola Faith vanished on January 27 along with its crew, which consisted of skipper Carl McGrath, 34, and his crewmates Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20. It’s understood that the Nicola Faith will be taken ashore to a secure location for further examination before being prepared for a stability assessment. Asked when they saw the Nicola Faith raised out of the water, an eyewitness at the recovery told us that it was approximately 10.10am this morning. Video, photos, >click to read< 09:05 GOV.UKFishing vessel Nicola Faith recovered from seabed>click to read<

F/V Nicola Faith: recovery of the fishing vessel is underway off Colwyn Bay coast

A platform, which includes a large crane, can be seen in the water and will be used to help raise the sunken boat. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch began raising the boat on Sunday and expect it to be fully recovered by Monday afternoon. The Nicola Faith went missing with skipper Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, on January 27. The bodies of all three men were discovered several months later. >click to read< , and >click here< 10:14

F/V Nicola Faith: Fishing vessel to be raised – MAIB investigation update

Since locating and identifying Nicola Faith in April, the MAIB has gathered and analysed dive survey data from the vessel. We now intend to raise the vessel so that an in-depth examination and stability analysis can be carried out. >click to read<  Missing Conwy fishing boat to be raised from sea bed – Familes of the crew members have been told about the plans to lift the vessel from the sea bed off the Welsh coast. “The vessel will be raised using a specially designed barge crane that has been chartered by MAIB,”  >click to read< 12:34

Tributes to Cove Fisherman Peter Gray, 64, who died at sea ‘doing the job he loved’

Lifeboat crews from Dunbar and St Abbs, a rescue helicopter from Prestwick and local fishing vessels joined the search for Peter Gray, of Cove, south-east of Dunbar. The 64-year-old dad-of-two and grandfather-of-two was located in the sea,,, His wife of 42 years Betty was very grateful to all the fishermen and volunteers who had joined the search for her husband. She told the Courier “he loved a holiday in the sun” but, as a fisherman, had “no time for hobbies”. Rev Dr. Suzie Fletcher said, “Peter Gray was one of the fifth generation of his family to fish from Cove, and had been out to sea doing the job he loved day in and day out for decades. His loss has left his family, the local community, many circles of fishermen and countless friends in shock. >click to read< 20:06

F/V Nicola Faith: Family of fishermen who died on sunken vessel donate £11,500 to RNLI

Family members of Carl McGrath, the skipper of Nicola Faith presented the gift to staff at Llandudno Station. The £11,500 was raised by family and friends of the three crew members who all died when the boat went missing off the coast of Conwy in January. The family met some of the volunteers who helped search for Carl and his two crewmates Ross Ballantine and Alan Minard. Llandudno RNLI volunteers, along with Rhyl, Conwy, Beaumaris and Hoylake RNLI crews collectively spent over 90 hours searching for the missing vessel. On Wednesday 5 May, Carl’s mum Julie, sister Lauren and partner Jake Cox said a personal thank you to the crew whilst handing over the donation. >video, photos, click to read< 10:17

Home and Dry: Safety campaign to get fishing crews ‘Home and Dry’ following deaths in Brixham

A safety campaign has begun to reduce the ‘alarming’ number of deaths among fishing crews. It comes as more than 10% of fatalities in the fishing industry over the last decade have happened in the last six months. In the past six months, seven fishermen across the country, including two on a trawler from Brixham, have lost their lives at sea. Six of the men who died ended up in the water.  Now the industry’s safety group is launching the Home and Dry campaign aims to help those on vessels stay safe by educating them on practices they can use to reduce risks. >Video, click to read< 08:12  Shetland fisherman’s death highlighted in new man overboard prevention campaign – The lives lost included Shetland fisherman Joseph Lacaste, 45, who died while working on the trawler Copious in February. >click to read<

F/V Nicola Faith: Expert says fishermen could have been saved

David Mearns, a chartered marine scientist, historical researcher, author, and expedition leader of deep ocean projects, confirmed the Nicola Faith has been found less than two miles out to sea in Colwyn Bay. Mr Means, owner and director of Blue Water Recoveries, said he and his team found the wreck using high-resolution solar imaging as as part of a privately-funded effort. The ship was later formally identified by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and North Wales Police divers. But speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Mr Means outlined “alarming” findings and suggested there is “no reason” the boat was not found sooner, and that there is a “possibility” the men could have been saved. >click to read< 22:50

F/V Nicola Faith: The wreck discovered by the MAIB last week is confirmed as the missing fishing vessel

Today, MAIB inspectors attended the site of the wreck,1.9 nautical miles off Rhos Point, to identify the vessel. They were assisted by North Wales Police Underwater Search Team who undertook a comprehensive survey on behalf of the MAIB. As well as identifying the vessel, the survey gathered video evidence and information that will help inform our investigation and assist in understanding the reasons the vessel sank. After all the evidence has been reviewed, including imagery from the dive team, a decision will be made regarding the next steps to be taken as part of the ongoing investigation. >click to read< 09:31

MAIB Report – Flooding and sinking of Fishing Trawler Ocean Quest

On 18 August 2019 and about 70 miles north-east of Fraserburgh, the UK registered trawler, Ocean Quest, sank as a result of an engine room flood. The source of the flood has not been determined; however, it was almost certainly a result of shell plating or hull weld failure. The crew tackled the flood with fixed and portable pumps, but were not able to get the situation under control. The alarm was raised as soon as the flood was discovered, the crew were well prepared for the abandonment and all were rescued safely by a coastguard helicopter. >click to read< 12:32

F/V Nicola Faith: Crowd burst into applause fisherman’s funeral cortege travels through Welsh town

The Nicola Faith fishing vessel disappeared near Conwy on January 27. Its three crewmen, skipper Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were onboard at the time. An extensive search for the trio and their vessel was launched and the bodies of the three men were discovered at different coastal locations in England on three consecutive days in March. On Thursday, the funeral of Mr McGrath was held at St Mary’s Church in Conwy with restricted numbers due to ongoing Covid-19 guidelines, but many of his family and friends were able to pay tribute as his funeral cortege made its way through the town. >click to read< 07:38

Sunken vessel found in sea search thought to be missing F/V Nicola Faith

A sunken vessel has been found during a sea search for a fishing boat which vanished with three of its crew. The bodies of Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were later recovered after the Nicola Faith went missing off the coast of Colwyn Bay on the evening of January 27. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said on Tuesday that a sunken boat had been found around two miles off the coast in Colwyn Bay. It is thought to be the missing fishing vessel. >click to read< 09:53

Inquests of fishermen who vanished off North Wales coast hear when last contact was made with crew – Today, Senior Coroner for North Wales East and Central, John Gittins, opened their inquests in Ruthin. >click to read<

Three crew members missing after life raft from F/V Nicola Faith washed ashore

The raft was found off the coast of Kirkcudbrightshire in southwest Scotland by the HM Coastguard yesterday. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has positively identified the raft as being from the Nicola Faith, which went missing with its three crew members off the coast of Colwyn Bay in North Wales on January 27. “The search for the vessel, which is being co-ordinated by the MAIB, is continuing. >click to read< 08:37

Pescado fishing boat which sank off Cornwall ‘was hit by submarine in cover-up’

Thirty years ago, a Plymouth-registered beam trawler left port for what was supposed to be a routine fishing trip. After having heard nothing from the Pescado since it departed, on February 25, 1991, a search began for the ship on March 5. The wreck of the Pescado was eventually found 13 miles off Dodman Point on the south coast of Cornwall. The official line remains from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) in 1998: the boat tilted, flooded and sank as a result of inexperienced crew and faulty equipment. But the ship’s owner, Alan Ayres, who passed away on June 22, 2020, aged 81, had for decades insisted that a collision with a British Navy submarine caused it to sink, and that there has been a cover-up. photos, >click to read< 13:30

Investigation launched following the disappearance of a fishing vessel and its three crew.

A major search for Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine and skipper Carl McGrath was called off on Friday, January 29 after two days. Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is now looking into the incident. Under its current probes, vessel ‘Nicola Faith’ is listed. Investigation notes say: “Loss of UK registered fishing vessel along with its three crew members in the area of Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy County, North Wales.” >click to read< 07:46

Confined Space: Trawler engineer died after asphyxiation by gas, says Marine Accident Investigation Branch

An engineer on a fishing trawler died after he was asphyxiated by gas that leaked into a refrigerated saltwater tank where he was working without any safety precautions, an investigation has found. Three other crew members were also “nearly overcome” when they tried to rescue second engineer William Ironside on the trawler Sunbeam in Fraserburgh on August 14 2018. A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report found the fatal accident happened because Mr Ironside entered the tank, which was an enclosed space, “without any of the safety precautions normally associated with such an activity”. >click to read< 09:29

Official inquiry launched into the sinking of the F/V Joanna C, an exclusion zone has been set

An exclusion zone has been set up around the wrecked Brixham scalloper as part of the investigation. An official government investigation into the sinking of the Brixham fishing boat Joanna C has begun. The 45-foot scalloper went down early in the morning on November 21. The MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) investigates all maritime accidents in UK waters and accidents involving UK registered ships worldwide. It sets out to establish the cause of accidents, to promote awareness of risks and prevent recurrence. >click to read< 08:42

A dramatic early morning rescue operation mounted as Fife fishing boat hits the rocks

Volunteer RNLI crews from Anstruther were able to rescue two men from the Carisma before she was wrecked after hitting the rocky shore near Pittemweem shortly after 6:15am. The loss of the vessel is a massive blow to her owner and skipper Kirk Doig, who launched Carisma Seafoods in August when the Covid-10 pandemic ended most demand from fish markets as the country felt the full impact of lockdown on the hospitality industry. >click to read< 15:55

Scotland: Deep concern over failure to use PFD’s after fishing industry deaths

A safety warning has been issued to the fishing industry about the mandatory wearing of lifejackets (PFD’s) as concerns grow about deaths caused by not wearing them, despite moves to supply them free to Scottish boats. New figures show that six of the 12 fishermen who have died at sea in 2018 and 2019 were not wearing lifejackets,,  The MAIB has said deaths in the water from those not wearing PFD was of “great concern” and said that “embedding behavioural change” could half the fatality rate in the fishing industry. It comes a year after the end of a scheme to supply PFDs to fishermen on Scottish-registered boats, with the intention of increasing the usage of a flotation garment while working on the open deck. Some 3,500 personal flotation devices (PFDs) were supplied,,, >click to read< 08:55

‘Home and Dry’: Fishing crews urged to turn the tide on industry’s safety record

The campaign comes as many fishing crews across the UK are returning to sea following weeks of lockdown and challenging market conditions to sell their catch. Created with support from the fishing industry, it focuses on the importance of community and home for those who make a living from catching fish. It shines a light on the pride and professionalism of the industry as a way to get vital out messages about good safety at sea. Dave Driver, a skipper featured in the campaign, says: “I’ve been a fisherman for most of my life, and as a vessel owner I am constantly thinking about my safety and the safety of my crew. >click to read< 07:30

Report says skipper died after wheelhouse hatch fall

The skipper of a Fraserburgh-registered boat died when he fell through the wheelhouse hatch after three hours drinking in a pub, a report has said. Andrew Hay, 56, died after the incident on the Artemis in Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland, in April last year. He suffered severe head injuries after falling to the deck below. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said Mr Hay was more than four times the legal alcohol limit for professional seafarers while on duty. >click to read< 00:01

Nancy Glen tragedy: New crane contributed to sinking which killed two fishermen

Experts from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said the horror sinking of the prawn trawler happened on its last trawl of the day near her home port. The report, published today, also details the desperate battle for survival by John Miller, who tried to save his crewmates Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk in vain. As a result of the double fatality, the MAIB has made recommendations to introduce stability criteria for small vessels across the industry – which have been accepted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). >click to read<09:56

Nancy Glen report and flyer published – Capsize and sinking of a prawn trawler in Lower Loch Fyne, Scotland with the loss of 2 lives. Published 30 May 2019 From: Marine Accident Investigation Branch >click to read<