Collision between general cargo vessel Union Pearl and fishing vessel Sonas

Location: Irish Sea

Completed PE Summary - Union Pearl/Sonas

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name   Sonas
Registered Owner & Manager:   Mr Robert McMaster Murray
Port of registry:   Stornoway
Flag:   UK
Type:   Fish Catching/processing
Built:   1971
Construction:   Wood
Length overall:   18.35
Gross tonnage:   41.47
Date & Time   27/04/05 19:02
Location of incident:   Northern Irish coastal waters
Incident Type:   Collision
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   Material Damage/No Pollution
Vessel name   Union Pearl
Port of registry:   Bridgetown
Flag:   Barbados
Type:   General cargo
Built:   1990
Classification society:   Germanischer Lloyd
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   99.73
Gross tonnage:   2236.00
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   None


The loaded general cargo vessel Union Pearl was in collision with the fishing vessel Sonas, which was on passage and returning to port, in good visibility.

Union Pearl had been passing clear of the fishing vessel but had then altered course for navigational reasons. The fishing vessel did not notice that Union Pearl had altered course.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the owners of the cargo vessel to highlight the following:

  • The proper application of the collision regulations, and

  • The obligation to report a collision to the coastal authority and to remain in the vicinity until sure that the other vessel involved does not require any assistance

The Chief Inspector has also written to the skipper and co-owner of the fishing vessel on the following:

  • The need to keep a vigilant lookout at all times

  • The need to keep a listening watch on Channel 16 VHF

  • The impairment to the visibility from the wheelhouse

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