Explosion on sail training vessel Lord Trenchard with 4 people injured

Location: Berthed in Poole Harbour, England.

Accident Investigation Report: Lord Trenchard

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

lord trenchard.pdf (2,191.09 kb)


On 30 June 1999 four people were on board sail training vessel Lord Trenchard at her berth in Poole Harbour, England. When the skipper tried to start the diesel generator an accumulation of LPG ignited, resulting in an explosion. The four crew on board were injured, including the skipper who received severe injures. The vessel was badly damaged.

Safety issues

  • the failure to properly tighten the connection on the aft gas bottle in the ready-use locker when the bottles were changed between 14 and 20 June 1999

  • the non gas-tightness of the ready-use locker allowing LPG to migrate into the hull of the vessel

  • the failure of the gas alarm system to identify the presence of gas in the hold space


Several recommendations are directed to the Joint Services Adventure Sail Training Centre and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

This report was published on 28 April 2000.

Published 23 January 2015