Flooding and sinking of potter Achieve with loss of 1 life

Location: 6nm north-west of the Island of Taransay, Western Isles, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 3/2014

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

Achieve.pdf (3,769.70 kb)

Photograph of Achieve


On 21 February 2013, the fishing vessel Achieve foundered 6 nautical miles north-west of the Island of Taransay, Western Isles, Scotland. Although all three of the vessel’s crew were rescued, one of them died later in hospital due to hypothermia.

Safety lessons

  • the vessel sank due to flooding in the vessel’s fish hold, most likely because of a sprung plank in the hull
  • the bilge alarm in the fish hold had been disconnected
  • the skipper did not fully understand how the automatic systems (DSC and RNLI MOB Guardian base unit)


The MAIB has published a flyer aimed at the operators of fishing vessels and small craft that seeks to provide the rationale for the correct use of the DSC system in distress situations. A recommendation (2013/203) to fit EPIRBS to all commercial fishing vessels was recently issued following the loss of the fishing vessel Purbeck Isle in 2012. As a consequence, no further recommendations have been made in this report.

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

Published: 10 January 2014

Published 23 January 2015