MAIB report into death of skipper F/V HORIZON II returning from a night ashore, North Shields November 2013

The MAIB has published a report on the investigation into the death of James Reid, skipper of fishing vessel HORIZON II, after falling overboard whilst returning from a night ashore.

Another insight into the hard life of the fisherman, superficially far-detached from the superyacht world but with undoubted synergies. In this case, the tragic death of a man returning from a night ashore alone could, and has indeed happened in the past within our own industry.

Appropriate footwear, safe access, lighting and a gangway watch for the returning straggler could have avoided this tragic accident. Rafting up alongside is often unavoidable, but it is the duty of the Master to ensure that safe access is provided supplemented, if necessary by a net or safety line. In every case, a simple risk assessment taking into account changes in tidal heights, inadequate lighting, the need to step over obstacles safely, the likelihood of condensation on decks and a means of recovery should be carried out.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all crewmembers are given an opportunity to read this and confirm so in your next HESS meeting minutes. I can be contacted at any time if anyone has any questions. We would welcome any feedback of course, and would be pleased to circulate any comments.