NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Operator of Banff trawler fined over crew member's death

Aquarius Image copyright COPFS
Image caption Aquarius crew member Annang Nuertey was thrown overboard after being struck by a piece of trawl wire

The operator of a North Sea trawler has been fined £50,000 over safety failures which led to the death of a crewman.

Annang Nuertey, 47, from Ghana, was knocked from the Banff-registered Aquarius off Aberdeen, near Girdleness Lighthouse, in August 2015.

He was not wearing a lifejacket, and sank out of view.

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch previously said the vessel's crew were not adequately prepared to deal with emergencies.

Buckie-based MB Aquarius Ltd has now pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The court heard that Mr Nuertey was struck by a piece of trawl wire and thrown overboard.

'Tragic consequences'

The incident was investigated by Police Scotland and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The investigation found that the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks involved in the task of marking the trawl wire.

They had also failed to properly plan and supervise the task and ensure that there was a safe system of work in place.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The company's failures lead to the death of Annang Neurtey. His family and friends must live with the consequences of those failings.

"This sad incident should serve as a reminder to vessel operators and the fishing industry that they should ensure that they are familiar with and adhere to the regulations and that failure to do so can have tragic consequences."

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