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On 6 April 2016, the UK registered fishing vessel Fredwood flooded and sank on a drying berth in Maryport, England. When Fredwood took the ground, it listed away from the quay wall and the weight of the vessel came to rest on a sonar tube that protruded from the bottom of the hull. The tube was pushed upwards and the hull planking around it was damaged. This caused the vessel to flood on the rising tide. All of the crew were rescued by local fire service personnel and there were no injuries or pollution. However, the vessel was declared a constructive total loss.

The resulting MAIB investigation found that the mooring arrangement, mooring line monitoring and emergency response on board Fredwood were inadequate

Safety Lessons

This was the second of two accidents investigated by the MAIB in a 6-week period where a fishing vessel was lost due to flooding after listing heavily away from the quay while taking the ground in a UK port.

Fishing vessel owners and skippers should always ensure that they have fully assessed the risks before taking the ground on drying berths. Procedures should be in place and actions taken to ensure that vessels remain upright or lean onto the quay wall when aground. In particular, the crew should:

  1. Consult with the harbour authority when assessing the suitability of the berth for taking the ground.
  2. Be aware of the type of seabed the vessel will rest on.
  3. Keep all watertight openings closed and monitor bilge levels and alarms.
  4. Tend the vessel’s mooring lines and monitor its attitude and position as the tide falls to ensure the vessel lists towards the quay before taking the ground.
  5. Where necessary, rig extra lines or beaching legs, to ensure the vessel remains upright as the berth dries out.