Capsize and sinking of scallop dredger Aquila with loss of 3 lives

Location: Bo Faskadale reef, Ardnamurchan, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 5/2010

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

Aquilareport.pdf (947.08 kb)

Annexes (1,829.09 kb)


At about 1540 UTC on 20 July 2009 the fishing vessel Aquila, with a crew of four, capsized while dredging for scallops to the east of the Isle of Muck, off the west coast of Scotland. Three of her crew lost their lives in the accident; their bodies were recovered from the sea after the sole survivor was rescued by a passing yacht.

Safety Issues

  • due to an increase in Aquila’s displacement tonnage, at the time of the accident, the vessel no longer met the stability standard for larger fishing vessels (there was no standard for vessels with a registered length of under 12m)
  • the decision to transfer control of the incident and stand the helicopter down caused a delay of 23 minutes in a rescue helicopter reaching the accident site


In view of the actions already taken, no recommendations have been made.

A safety flyer to the fishing industry highlighting a number of the safety lessons was produced for this report.

This report was published on 15 April 2010.

Published 23 January 2015