Fatal ferry crash report raises concerns

  • Published
Scottish Viking
Image caption,
The Scottish Viking was travelling to Zeebrugge when the crash took place off the Borders coast

An accident report has raised concerns about watchkeeping on a ferry and boat which were involved in a collision which led to a teenager's death.

Daniel McNeil, 16, from North Shields, died after the incident involving the Scottish Viking and the Homeland prawn boat off the Borders coast last August.

The report said both crews had not determined at an early stage if there was a risk of collision.

It said actions had now been taken to tackle the safety concerns raised.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report said the Homeland had left Eyemouth harbour at about 1845 BST on the evening of the collision.

The Scottish Viking had left Rosyth headed for Zeebrugge about an hour and a half earlier.

They collided at about 1945 BST a few miles off St Abb's Head in good visibility.

The Homeland quickly capsized and Mr McNeil's body was lost at sea before being recovered nearly three months later.

The MAIB report has concluded a number of factors led to the collision.

'Restricted visibility'

It said watchkeeping on the ferry did not monitor or plot the path of the Homeland sufficiently and, once a risk of collision was deemed to exist, failed to take sufficient action to avoid it.

It added the crew of the Homeland did not recognise the risk of collision until it was too late to take effective action.

The investigation also identified "complacency and lack of precautionary thought" on the Scottish Viking as well as "ineffective implementation of the company's navigation policy and procedures".

Concerns were highlighted about "restricted all-round visibility from the aft deck" on the prawn trawler as well as "conflicting task priorities and possible lack of watchkeeping proficiency".

However, it added that in light of actions taken following the accident, it had no safety recommendations to make.

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