Fatal man overboard from the creel boat Sea Mist (BF918) off Macduff, Scotland on 27 March 2019

Full Safety Flyer

Safety lessons

  1. There was no means of separating the crew from the fishing gear on Sea Mist’s deck. It is unknown why the skipper was on deck while shooting his gear, however, the presence of a physical barrier between him and the back rope would probably have prevented this accident.
  2. The skipper was working alone on deck without a lifejacket or personal locator beacon. Once he entered the water, he had no means of raising the alarm or remaining afloat without the need to swim. Without the buoyant support of a lifejacket a person’s survival time after sudden immersion in cold water can be measured in minutes. In this case, like many others, a lifejacket might well have saved the skipper’s life.
  3. The skipper had carried out some sensible safety precautions: he was carrying a knife, and knives were readily available on deck. Unfortunately his attempt to cut himself free was not successful, but the line was almost completely severed. In slightly different circumstances, that he had ready access to a knife might have saved his life.