Shetland fishing boat sinking: 'Tired' skipper criticised

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image source, MAIB Publications
image captionThe Coelleira ran onto rocks at Vee Skerries

The skipper of a fishing vessel which sank off Shetland may have been suffering from fatigue, a Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigation has found.

The Coelleira made a distress call after running on to rocks at Vee Skerries near Papa Stour on 4 August last year.

Its 15 crew members were safely evacuated by the coastguard helicopter.

An MAIB report found the bridge was unmanned when the vessel hit the rocks.

It also states:

  • The passage from the fishing grounds to Scrabster was not properly planned
  • An effective lookout was not maintained
  • The judgment and performance of the skipper, who was on watch at the time, might have been adversely affected by fatigue
  • The set-up of electronic navigation equipment adversely affected the skipper's ability to monitor the vessel's position and identify hazards.

The report recommends that the Coelleira owners follow guidelines on rest times and keeping a safe watch.

The MAIB said at the time of the sinking that no pollution problems had been reported.

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