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Commercial Fishing



 Fatal man overboard from May C. Report on the investigation of the fatal man overboard from the single-handed creel fishing boat May C, at Loch Carnan, Outer Hebrides, Scotland on 24 July 2019.

Summary: At about 1230 on 24 July 2019, the owner/skipper of the single-handed creel fishing boat May C was found face down and unconscious in the sea by the crew of the fishing boat, Sparkling Star. Despite being recovered by Sparkling Star’s crew, May C’s skipper had drowned and could not be resuscitated. Although the exact circumstances of the accident are unknown, it is most likely that May C’s skipper fell overboard when trying to clear the boat’s propeller of weed or other fouling.

The key safety issues identified were:

  • May C’s skipper was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), nor was he carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB). This meant that his chances of survival were very low when alone and falling into cold water.
  • Wearing a PFD and carrying a PLB aids survival and ensures you have a reliable method of raising the alarm to get help.

Safety recommendations:

Given the industry initiatives to increase the awareness of the importance of wearing a PFD, and the MAIB’s safety recommendations made in the Sea Mist report, no further recommendations regarding single-handed fishing have been considered necessary for inclusion in this report.