Investigation into fishing vessel fatal fall overboard

The United Kingdom Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued its report into the fatality of a crewmember who fell overboard while the vessel was shooting a net.

A deckhand on the gill netter Eder Sands fell overboard while the vessel was shooting a net approximately 150 nautical miles west of Ireland. Despite an extensive search that involved other vessels and aircraft, the crew member was not found.

The MAIB investigation found:

  • The unwritten onboard process for shooting nets was unsafe and required crew to work at height without appropriate guard rails or a safety harness and tether to protect them.
  • The crew were habitually wearing their lifejackets with loose waist straps and it was probable that the deckhand slipped out of his lifejacket when he fell into the water.
  • The lifejackets used by the crew were compliant but unsuitable for the vessel’s operation because they were not fitted with a light, personal locator beacon, crotch strap or spray hood.

The MAIB report can be read at:Fall overboard from fishing vessel Eder Sands with loss of 1 life – GOV.UK (