Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Inquiry into fisherman’s death

A FATAL accident inquiry is to be held into the death of Shetland fisherman Neil Smith at Lerwick Sheriff Court on 16 April.

Mr Smith, of Cunningsburgh, died while working on his creel boat Breadwinner off the isle of Bressay last year.

His unmanned boat was found the morning after he went missing on 22 January after it beached on rocks near Whalsay, but it took another eight days for search and rescue teams to find his body.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch found that his death could have been prevented if he had been wearing a lifejacket.

His chances of survival would have improved had he been carrying a knife to cut himself free from the ropes in which he became entangled while shooting creels, the MAIB report said, and a personal locator beacon would have helped the rescue services find him.

The report also said the use of a remote cut-out device to stop the engine would be useful on any single handed vessel, and said there was a need for safety guidelines to be provided for fishermen crewing alone, as these did not exist at present.