Carbon monoxide poisoning on scallop dredger Eshcol, used as overnight accommodation, with loss of 2 lives

Locations: Berthed at Whitby, England.

Accident Investigation Report 14/2014

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made.

EshcolReport.pdf (5,537.21 kb)



On 15 January 2014 two crew on board the fishing vessel Eshcol died from carbon monoxide poisoning while alongside at Whitby, England.

The key safety issues identified were:

  • Two fishermen were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning while they slept in their bunks.
  • The carbon monoxide was emitted from a lit butane-fuelled cooker that was being used to heat the accommodation.
  • The gas cooker, which had probably never been serviced, was in poor condition and consequently emitted high levels of carbon monoxide.
  • The deceased fishermen were tired and cold and weren’t aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning; they had left the cooker grill lit and had closed the wheelhouse door and windows.
  • A carbon monoxide alarm, which would have alerted the fishermen, was not fitted.
  • Although fitted with bunks, the vessel was not properly equipped for overnight sleeping; it had no toilet or fridge and the heaters were either not working or damaged.

Published: 11 June 2014

Published 23 January 2015