One fisherman lost his life when the ro-ro passenger vessel Scottish Viking collided with the fishing vessel Homeland, which subsequently sank. A Safety Flyer which accompanies the investigation report by Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB says: “This case highlights the lack of time available to crew in an emergency to locate
and don a lifejacket. Routine wearing of a lifejacket by fishermen when working on deck can significantly improve survivability and detection by the rescue services when a vessel sinks rapidly”.MAIB’s synopsis says:
At 1946 on 5 August 2010, the Italian registered ro-ro passenger ferry Scottish Viking was in collision with the UK registered fishing vessel Homeland about 4 miles off St Abb’s Head. As a result of the collision the fishing vessel sank.
The skipper was recovered from the sea but, despite an extensive search by the rescue services and a large number of local fishing vessels, the remaining crew member, Daniel McNeill, was lost.
Scottish Viking’s second officer had sighted a group of three crossing fishing
vessels on the starboard bow. The fishing vessels were on a converging
course, and when they were 1 mile from Scottish Viking a prompt by the lookout made the second officer alter the vessel’s course to port using the autopilot.
Seconds before the collision, the second officer ordered the AB to steer the
vessel and alter further to port. Homeland’s wheelhouse had not been manned continuously and an effort by the skipper to alter course and put the engine astern, when he entered the wheelhouse at the last minute, did not prevent the collision.
Factors that led to the collision included:
•• Scottish Viking’s watchkeeper did not: determine at an early stage if
there was a risk of collision with Homeland; sufficiently monitor or plot
Homeland’s track; and, once a risk of collision was deemed to exist, take
sufficient action to avoid collision.
•• Homeland’s watchkeeper did not: determine at an early stage if there
was a risk of collision with Scottish Viking; maintain a proper lookout
from the wheelhouse; or detect or recognise a risk of collision with
Scottish Viking until it was too late to take effective action.
The investigation identified the following other contributing factors:
•• Scottish Viking – complacency and lack of precautionary thought;
ineffective implementation of the company’s navigation policy and
•• Homeland – restricted all-round visibility from the aft deck; conflicting
task priorities and possible lack of watchkeeping proficiency.
The manager of Scottish Viking has taken a number of actions aimed at
improving the performance of the company’s bridge teams. These include:
reiterating the importance of following the company’s navigational procedures; introducing a procedure for masters to report on the competence of a newly joined officer; carrying out unscheduled navigational audits at sea; and randomly scrutinising VDR data to verify compliance with its procedures. Both the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the MAIB have distributed the safety lessons arising from this investigation to the merchant shipping and fishing industry sectors respectively.
In view of the actions that have been taken, the MAIB has issued no safety