SI 2020/1484
10th December 2020
SI 2020/1497
10th December 2020

Fatal accident report issued by the MAIB

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a report and safety flyer following a fatal accident in an enclosed space on board the fishing vessel Sunbeam in Fraserburgh, Scotland.  The second engineer was found collapsed inside a refrigerated salt water tank.  Although he was rescued from the tank, he could not be resuscitated.  Three of his crewmates went into the tank to help him. They all suffered breathing difficulties and one also collapsed. Two other crew members then donned breathing apparatus and rescued their struggling crewmates.

MAIB state that:

  • The accident happened because the second engineer entered the tank without any of the safety precautions normally associated with such a hazard being in place.
  • Entry into the tanks without safety precautions had become routine as they had been completed without consequence over the many years of the vessel’s operations.
  • However, on this occasion the atmosphere could not support life, as refrigerant gas had leaked into the space through failed evaporator tubes in one of the vessel’s refrigeration plants.
  • MAIB also stress the need to ensure that well practiced rescue plans are in place.