Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Thursday 13 June 2024
 7.5°C   N Light Air
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Skipper blamed for Prospect grounding

Prospect being towed by the Lerwick lifeboat shortly before she sank on 5 August last year. Photo Malcolm Younger

A NORTH east skipper who ran his fishing boat aground in Lerwick harbour’s north entrance last August has been told to attend a refresher course for navigation skills.

Neil King, from MacDuff, hit the Skibby Baas rocks despite two attempts to warn him by the port’s watchkeeper, according to a report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

The report said King had been drinking in a Lerwick pub earlier that day and was only just inside the legal limit for alcohol when he was breathalysed by police when he came ashore.

His boat Prospect was heading out to the fishing grounds off Unst after landing a catch at Lerwick harbour on 5 August.

As he left the port at a speed of 7.6 knots he took a call on the Banff-registered vessel’s satellite phone, turning down his VHF radio to hear better.

When he finished the call he checked that he had received an email from Marine Scotland confirming they realised he was leaving port.

Seconds later the wooden hulled boat struck the rocks, which are well highlighted by beacons and marked clearly on sea charts.

The Lerwick lifeboat was on exercise at the time and was at the scene within five minutes after being alerted by the oil standby vessel Vos Enterprise.

The four crew including King, his mate William Milne, of Whitehills and two Sri Lankan crewmen were rescued without injury.

The twin rig stern trawler lifted off the rocks on the high tide, but sank as the lifeboat towed her into shallower waters.

She lay on the seabed 15 metres down for two weeks before the fourth attempt to lift her with the help of local marine engineering firm Ocean Kinetics succeeded.

There were fears at the time of pollution as Prospect had just loaded her tanks with 22,000 litres of fuel, but only a light sheen of oil escaped from the vessel.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

The MAIB report held the skipper entirely responsible for the incident.

It said: “The skipper had not effectively planned and monitored the vessel’s passage.

“He had become distracted in continuing a telephone conversation while altering the vessel’s course.

“It’s possible that his performance was adversely affected by alcohol that he had consumed earlier in the day.”

The report also found that the skipper had not referred to the relevant nautical charts and publications and was therefore ignorant of the lights and beacons at the harbour’s north entrance.

It said the lifeboats had not been prepared after the boat ran aground and only one of the crew donned a lifejacket.

The crew had not take part in emergency drills outside of guardship duty, it added.

The MAIB recommended that the skipper attend a navigation skills/bridge watchkeeping course to update his knowledge of best practice.

It also recommended the crew carry out monthly emergency drills, the vessel has up to date electronic chart plotting systems and skippers and crew comply with watchkeeping and navigation best practice.

The full MAIB report can be found here

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.