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Friday, June 28, 2019 

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued the report of its investigation into a fatal accident involving a Scottish trawler in August 2018.

A deckhand from the fishing vessel Fram of Shieldaig (BRD679), entered the water while manoeuvring a small tender alongside the moored fishing vessel in Loch Torridon. No-one witnessed the deckhand enter the water, but it is likely that he slipped or stumbled as he moved forward from his seated helm position.

The deckhand subsequently drowned because he was not wearing a lifejacket and the skipper was unable to recover him from the water unaided. The deckhand was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, and this probably contributed to his fall.

MAIB says that the incident highlighted certain safety issues:

  • the deckhand was working alone on the tender and was under the influence of alcohol
  • the deckhand was not wearing a lifejacket at the time of the accident
  • the crew did not complete regular emergency drills

As a result, the vessel's owner has been recommended to introduce and enforce a strict alcohol and drugs policy. MAIB has published a safety flyer to the fishing industry highlighting the safety lessons from this report.

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