Carbon monoxide poisoning from portable petrol pump on pair trawler/guard ship Starlight Rays with loss of 1 life

Location: Devenick Oil Field, 126 nautical miles north-north-east of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 15/2012

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


Annexes (5,555.11 kb)


At about 1450 on 25 August 2011, the engineer on board the fishing vessel Starlight Rays, collapsed while attempting to use a portable petrol engine-driven pump to remove oily water from a compartment inside the vessel’s fish hold. He was evacuated from the vessel and taken to hospital by rescue helicopter, but never regained consciousness. It was later confirmed that he died from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Starlight Rays was engaged on guard vessel duties at the time, operating 126nm north-east of Aberdeen.

Safety Issues

  • inadequate consideration and control of hazardous work activities on board Starlight Rays
  • it is very difficult to rescue a crewman from a compartment with a dangerous atmosphere on board a fishing vessel, without risking the lives of the rescuers
  • without careful thought and preparation, many of the petrol engine-driven pumps carried on board fishing vessels as salvage and emergency fire pumps, could be ineffective


A recommendation has been made to the owner and skippers of Starlight Rays designed to improve the standard of occupational safety and protection for crew working on their vessel.

This report was published on 14 June 2012.

Published 23 January 2015