Collision between container vessel Merkur and purse seiner/trawler Silvery Sea, sinking the trawler with loss of 5 lives

Location: Approximately 35 miles west of Esbjerg, Denmark.

Accident Investigation Report 21/2000

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

silverysea merkur.pdf (2,318.21 kb)


At 0607 Universal Co-ordinated Time (UTC) on 14 June 1998, the UK registered fishing vessel Silvery Sea collided with the German registered container ship Merkur about 35 miles west of Esbjerg, Denmark. This caused Silvery Sea to founder with the loss of her five-man crew.

Safety Issues

  • Silvery Sea did not keep out of the way of Merkur
  • Merkur’s chief officer did not take avoiding action sufficiently early to prevent a collision


Recommendations are made with regard to collision bulkheads in fishing vessels, to the researching of possible increased deadweight of RSW tanks due to the settling and compression of sand eels, and to the review of criteria for commissioning postmortem examinations following an accident.

This report was published on 6 July 2000.

Published 23 January 2015