Fall and entanglement while hauling gear on single-handed trawler Wakil II with 1 person injured

Location: 3.5 miles south-west of St Bees Head, England.

Accident Investigation Report 40/2000

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

wakil II.pdf (541.00 kb)


On 10 April 2000, the skipper/owner of Wakil II was operating the vessel alone, 3.5 miles south-west of St Bees Head. As he hauled in the fishing gear, he slipped and fell on to the trawl warp while it was being heaved in, and was then dragged into the winch. Fortunately the trapped skipper provided enough resistance to stop the small diesel engine which powered the winch. He was, nonetheless trapped there for many hours before managing to free himself and raise the alarm. He was then transferred to hospital by the rescue services.

Safety Issues

  • deck not clear of hazards before hauling
  • decision to place himself in immediate danger
  • lack of risk assessment
  • absence of a ‘dead man’s handle’ fitted to the winch control


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been recommended to advise fishermen who own and operate their vessels single-handedly, to carry out a risk assessment. Wakil II’s skipper/owner has been recommended to carry out a risk assessment and fit a dead man’s handle to the winch control.

This report was published in December 2000.

Published 23 January 2015