Fire in engine room of twin-rig prawn stern trawler Amy Harris III

Location: Off the Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 20/2013

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made:

AmyHarrisIII.pdf (2,053.68 kb)


On 16 January 2013, while 2.9 nm south of the Isle of Arran, the wooden twin-rig prawn stern trawler Amy Harris III suffered an engine room fire. Despite attempts to tackle the fire, the open doors and hatch allowed smoke to spread rapidly and forced the four crew on to the deck. The crew were airlifted off the vessel by rescue helicopter soon afterwards. The vessel was towed into Campbeltown where the fire was extinguished.

Amy Harris III was later declared a constructive total loss.

Safety lessons

  • the most likely cause of the fire was the ignition of diesel fuel oil, which had leaked from a flexible pipe supplying the auxiliary engine’s fuel lift pump


The owner has been recommended (2013/222) to: properly support pipework to prevent fatigue failure; ensure crews are fully conversant with the emergency equipment and conduct monthly emergency drills; properly maintain emergency equipment; conduct risk assessments and improve housekeeping standards.

Recommendations (2013/223 and 2013/224 respectively) have also been made to the skipper to attend a refresher fire-fighting course, and to the Sea Fish Industry Authority to test students’ knowledge of fixed fire-fighting systems in its Basic Fire Fighting Course assessment.

Published: 23 August 2013

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015