Broch boat that killed 3 had safety issues

Boats in Fraserburgh Harbour.
Boats in Fraserburgh Harbour.

A report investigating the capsizing of a Fraserburgh fishing vessel in which three men died cited safety issues contributing to the accident.

The Ocean Way trawler sank 100 miles off the north-east coast of England on November 2 2014 killing three of the five men on board, including Fraserburgh skipper James Noble.

Today’s report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found safety issues directly contributed to the accident.

The report read: “ The risk of a vessel broaching and capsizing in high following seas, especially in situations where water becomes entrapped on the deck is significant.

“Had the capacity of Ocean Way’s freeing ports been maintained in accordance with statutory requirements, the amount of water trapped on deck and the consequent risk of capsize would have been reduced.”

The report also detailed safety issues not directly contributing to the accident including the following: “The modifications made to Ocean Way’s freeing ports and the fact that they were not as indicated in its Record of Particulars was not identified during successive surveys of the vessel.

“If Ocean Way’s shelter deck had been made weathertight the amount of water that could become entrained on deck would have been reduced, which would have significantly improved the vessel’s ability to survive wash-over.”

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch have made recommendations based on their findings to further improve safety among fishing vessels.

Mr Noble and two Filipino men died when the Ocean Way capsized in stormy seas last year - the bodies of the Filipino men have never been recovered.

The report read that the “Ocean way capsized so rapidly that its crew did not have time to send a distress signal or don lifejackets before they were immersed.”

The report also indicates the freezing seawater temperature was of the primary dangers due to cold water shock.

A problem with the vessels transmitter also resulted in a 50 minute delay before a rescue helicopter was deployed, it is considered unlikely however that the delay affected the outcome of the rescue.