Fire on board fishing trawler Ardent II resulting in extensive damage

Location: Alongside in Port Henry Basin, Peterhead, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 12/2017

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened and safety lessons learned:

MAIB investigation report 12-2017: Ardent II

Photograph of fishing vessel Ardent II on fire


At approximately 0500 on 16 August 2016, a fire started in the crew mess room of the fishing vessel Ardent II while alongside in Peterhead. The three crew sleeping on board escaped without injury but the vessel was extensively damaged and later declared a constructive total loss.

The MAIB investigation identified that:

  • An electrical fault or failure of a multi-socket adapter in the crew mess was the most likely cause of the fire
  • There was no smoke detector fitted in the crew mess room and it was fortunate one of the crew awoke and discovered the fire

Safety Issues

  • Unless electrical equipment is regularly visually inspected for bare wires, that appropriate fuses are in place, and for signs of burning, together with regular Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), the risk of an electrical fire occurring is increased
  • Without a comprehensive fire detection and alarm system that covers all spaces that pose a risk, fishing vessel crew, particularly those sleeping on board, cannot be confident of being alerted early enough to be able to take effective action


In view of current regulation and guidance, and that more explicit instruction on which spaces on board fishing vessels require a means of fire detection is intended to become mandatory in 2017, no recommendations are made in this report.

A safety flyer to the small commercial vessel industry highlighting a number of the safety lessons was produced for this report.

Published 14 June 2017