Northern Ireland

Trawler collision: Report finds no proper lookout

Newcastle RNLI
Image caption Newcastle RNLI launched a rescue operation in the wake of the collision

A report into the sinking of a County Down trawler, after a collision with another fishing boat, has found that neither vessel kept a proper lookout.

The accident involving two fishing boats happened in July 2015.

The Silver Dee and the Good Intent collided in the Irish Sea. The Silver Dee sank eight minutes later.

Its five crew managed to transfer to the other vessel and there were no injuries.

Image caption The Good Intent was damaged in the collision but was able to return to shore under its own power

Good Intent was damaged but was able to return to Ardglass, County Down, under its own power.

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found that a proper watch had not been maintained on either fishing boat.

It also found that the wheelhouse of the Good Intent had been left unattended for long periods and the Silver Dee's skipper was not monitoring nearby boats.

It suggested that fatigue may have been a factor.

Image caption The Newcastle lifeboat returning to shore after the incident

The report said that despite industry initiatives, the failure to keep a proper watch was a persistent problem on some fishing boats, with economic considerations taking preference over safety.

It added that if Silver Dee had been built today, the current construction standards applicable to wooden fishing vessels would have significantly increased the vessel's survivability.

Both skippers involved have been advised on how to improve watch practices.

Related Topics

More on this story