No effective lookout! UK MAIB publish report on the collision between fishing vessel and general cargo ship

The United Kingdom Marine Accident Investigation Branch has issued their report on the collision between the fishing vessel ACHIEVE and the general cargo ship TALIS off Tynemouth, England on 8 November 2020.

On 8 November 2020, the UK registered fishing vessel collided with the Panama registered general cargo ship in fog. The fishing vessel was severely damaged and sank while being towed to port. The cargo ship suffered minor damage. There were no injuries and only minor pollution.

The MAIB investigation identified that neither vessel was keeping an effective lookout in the restricted visibility. Additionally, ACHIEVE’s wheelhouse was unmanned at the time of the collision. TALIS’s radar detected the fishing vessel at close range, but the watchkeeping officer’s action was hesitant and too late to avoid a collision.

The MAIB’s conclusions:

  • Neither crew was keeping an effective lookout in the prevailing conditions of restricted visibility.
  • Talis did not follow the company’s SMS requirements to have two officers on the bridge during periods of restricted visibility, and the C/O allowed himself to become distracted by administrative work instead of monitoring the radar.
  • Achieve’s skipper was not in the wheelhouse in the lead up to the collision so could not keep a proper and effective lookout.
  • Had Achieve’s radar reflector been mounted on the mast it may have improved its radar echo strength and, therefore, visibility on Talis’s radar.
  • Talis’s C/O relied heavily on AIS information to provide early warning of approaching traffic, and lost valuable time validating a weak radar contact. Achieve took no action to avoid the collision, and the action taken by Talis’s C/O was too late.
  • Neither vessel was sounding fog signals, which may have alerted them to the other’s presence.

Read the full report and safety flyer at