Connect with us


Fishing boat that sank, killing two, was ‘more vulnerable’ after refit | UK News



An investigation has found that a Scottish fishing boat sank, with the loss of two crewmen, after a refit made it more vulnerable to capsize.

The Nancy Glen capsized and sank on Loch Fyne on 18 January 2018. Skipper Duncan MacDougall, 46, and crewmate Przemek Krawczyk, 38, died when the prawn trawler went down.

A third fisherman, John Millar, survived after jumping from the boat as she overturned.

An investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has established that the boat was trawling the seabed when its net picked up mud and debris during a right-hand starboard turn. The prawn trawler capsized rapidly with two crewmen trapped inside.

The MAIB found that a crane on the Nancy Glen had been replaced with a heavier model, which had reduced the vessel’s stability and significantly increased its vulnerability to capsize.

A police under water rescue unit launches a boat into Loch Fyne where the Nancy Glen sank
A police under water rescue unit launches a boat into Loch Fyne where the Nancy Glen sank

In its report, the MAIB recounts the desperate moments before the prawn trawler sank.

It reads: “During the turn, Nancy Glen began to list to starboard. The list rapidly increased and caused loose items in the cabin to fall and the refrigerator door to fly open. Initially the two crewmen were unconcerned as the vessel normally listed during turns. However, as the list continued to increase, they became increasingly worried.

“One of the crewmen shouted to his colleague to get out, then made his way up into the wheelhouse. There, he noted that the skipper was at the wheel and that the vessel was listing at such a severe angle that the main deck guardrails were starting to become immersed. He heard the skipper shout that he did not know what was happening; the crewman then repeated his call to get off the vessel.

“To escape from the wheelhouse the crewman had to climb over the trawl winch, travel along the main deck and climb onto the side of the net drum. He then jumped off the net drum and over the stern into the sea. He swam away from Nancy Glen to avoid becoming trapped if it sank.

“Once aware that the vessel had not sunk, the crewman swam back to the upturned hull to try to find his colleagues. After realising that he could not access the upturned hull, the crewman saw the life raft canister that had floated free from the vessel; he attempted to inflate the life raft by pulling on the painter, but this was not successful.”

A specialist lifting barge recovers the sunken vessel
A specialist lifting barge recovers the sunken vessel

The bodies of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk, both of whom lived at Tarbert in Argyll, were recovered after the Nancy Glen was raised from the seabed. The Scottish government stepped in to fund the salvage operation and, separately, a crowdfunding page raised more than £280,000 for the men’s bereaved families.

In its report, the MAIB recommends that the stability of small fishing vessels be regularly assessed.

A criminal investigation into the sinking of the Nancy Glen has been dropped. Scotland’s Crown Office has said a fatal accident inquiry will be held.

Advertisement Find your dream job