Economic and social factors continue to take preference over safety considerations in fishing vessels, says Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch in it’s report into the collision between two trawlers. It it latest of a series of accident in which wheelhouses have been left unattended.
At 1840 on 12 January 2011, the 16.84m prawn trawler Silver Chord collided with the 14.99m prawn trawler Sapphire II ). At the time of the collision, Sapphire II was stopped in the water while her skipper, who was operating single-handed, recovered the vessel’s fishing gear. Silver Chord was making 5.5 knots as she proceeded towards Stornoway after a day’s fishing.
Sapphire II’s hull was penetrated and the fish hold quickly started to flood. Her skipper reported the accident to the coastguard, and transferred to Silver Chord before Sapphire II sank at about 1850.
Silver Chord was also damaged, but was able to return to Stornoway under her own power. There were no injuries.
The investigation identified a number of factors which contributed to the collision. These included: