MAIB report into the death of Gary Forbes from the fishing vessel BARNACLE III Tanera Beg 13 May 2014

The MAIB has published a report on the investigation of the fatal loss overboard of 36 year old fisherman Gary Forbes from the creel fishing vessel BARNACLE III west of Tanera Beg on 13 May 2014.

At about 1027 BST on 13 May 2014, crew member Gary Forbes was dragged overboard and under water from the 11.35m creel fishing vessel BARNACLE III as the vessel was shooting the second of two fleets of creels west of Tanera Beg, west coast of Scotland. Gary surfaced a short while later, face down, about 50 m from the vessel. He was not wearing a PFD. Despite being quickly recovered on board by the skipper, who then administered CPR, Gary did not survive.

These reports never make comfortable reading and are a salutory reminder of the hard work and raw conditions our fellow seafarers in the fishing industry face every day. We try and identify synergies with our own sector and again are reminded of the need for personal flotation devices to be worn when involved in operations which could involve risk of being pulled overboard or working unsupervised. Formal risk assessment is sometimes seen as a burden to fisherman as it is to our own colleagues in the large yacht sector, nevertheless such an exercise could have rescued the exposure profile to this unfortunate young man. We would be happy to assist any of our readers in formal risk assessment - which does not need to be a heavily bureaucratic process.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all crewmembers are given an opportunity to read this. Please 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.