Fire in engine room and subsequent abandonment of twin rig trawler Denarius

Location: 83 miles north north-east off Kinnaird Head, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 5/2013

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

Denarius.pdf (683.21 kb)


During the afternoon of 9 July 2012 the fishing vessel Denarius suffered a major fire 83 miles NNE of Kinnaird Head, Scotland and was abandoned.

Safety issues

  • excessive temperatures within the exhaust were transmitted to electrical wiring insulation as a result of an un-lagged area on the exhaust and perforated bulkheads resulting from corrosive degradation over a period of almost 22 years
  • the main engine’s fuel injection pump timing had not been inspected and maintained as per the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual
  • the crew did not have the technical competence to diagnose or rectify the fuel injection pump timing problem, and did not foresee the potential consequences of continuing to run the malfunctioning engine
  • weathertight doors were regularly left open, and in their haste to evacuate the deckhouse area, the crew left other doors and hatches open, allowing the smoke and fire to spread quickly through the vessel
  • pyrotechnics were not stowed in a readily available place on board
  • the coastguard was not alerted to the situation or contacted at any point


A recommendation (2013/202) has been made to the owner of Denarius designed to ensure that lessons learned from this accident are applied to any vessels it may operate in the future.

This report was published on 6 February 2013.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015