Contact made by scallop dredger Diamond with rock resulting in vessel sinking with loss of 1 life

Location: West Burra Firth, Shetland Islands, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 5/2015

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened and conclusions:

MAIB investigation report 5-2015: Diamond

Photograph of fishing vessel Diamond
Underwater photograph of wreck


At 0253 UTC on 25 March 2014, the wooden fishing vessel Diamond sank after hitting a rock in West Burra Firth, Shetland Islands. The skipper and crewman were recovered about 40 minutes later but only the skipper survived.

Safety lessons

  • the skipper had no formal navigation qualifications although he had previously shown some navigational competence when he steamed Diamond from North Shields to Lerwick

  • on the night of the accident the skipper was not making use of the sectored lights to navigate safely into West Burra Firth

  • it was the crewman’s first voyage to sea and he had not had any sea survival training

  • the vessel sank rapidly due to damage caused by the force of the collision and this did not allow the skipper and crewman sufficient time to collect their lifejackets from below decks prior to jumping overboard

  • both the skipper and the crewman were intoxicated by illegal and controlled drugs such that their ability to function was significantly impaired


No recommendations have been made.

Published 11 February 2015