The fishing vessel Transcend was in the process of shooting her trawl gear when, at around 2050 on 3 June 2009, the crew became aware of flooding in the engine room. Despite employing the vessel’s two bilge pumps and a portable submersible pump, the flooding continued to increase, and at 2145 the skipper issued a “Mayday”, to which a nearby emergency response and rescue vessel (ERRV), and another fishing vessel, diverted.
The three deckhands were evacuated shortly afterwards into a liferaft and then onto the ERRV. An additional portable pump was transferred from the other fishing vessel, but this could not be started, and the flooding continued to increase, spreading to the cabin. Once main engine power and then generator power had been lost, the skipper and engineer abandoned to a daughter craft from the ERRV.
The vessel capsized to starboard, sinking by the stern around 10 minutes later, at 2346. The uninjured crew were winched off the ERRV by Coastguard helicopter and airlifted to Shetland. Although the crew had observed water appearing to enter the engine room through hull planking in way of the starboard fuel tanks, the initial cause of the flooding could not be confirmed.
The Deputy Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the vessel’s owner/skipper advising him to review and adopt the guidance provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in MGN 165(F) to minimise the risks of flooding on any fishing vessels he may own in the future.