Capsize and sinking of twin rig trawler Angela

Location: 78 miles east-north-east of Peterhead, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 14/2001

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

angela.pdf (1,750.45 kb)


The fishing vessel Angela left Peterhead with a crew of five to fish in the North Sea. When the trawl was hauled there was a good catch in the nets; enough to fill the single hopper. The full hopper caused an angle of list of about 9 degrees to starboard. While the crew were gutting the catch, floodwater started to build up inside the shelter. This led to Angela slowly capsizing to starboard. All the crew were saved by the fast rescue craft from the stand-by vessel Scott Guardian. The fishing vessel sank in water about 140m deep. After the fishing vessel sank the EPIRB failed to release so it transmitted no distress message.

Safety Issues

  • with the exception of one deckhand, who had undertaken the basic survival at sea course, none of the deckhands had attended the basic safety training courses
  • Angela did not meet the stability criteria with a full hopper
  • the starboard tonnage valve was jammed open, which could have allowed seawater to enter the shelter from the outside


Recommendations have been made to the MCA, the owners and skipper of the fishing vessel.

This report was published on 26 April 2001.

Published 23 January 2015