Flooding and sinking of stern trawler Blue Sinata with loss of 1 life

Location: Weymouth Bay, England.

Accident Investigation Report 7/2006

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

Blue Sinata.pdf (479.83 kb)


At 1205BST on 8 September 2005, while operating in Weymouth Bay, the skipper of the fishing vessel Blue Sinata made a request for lifeboat assistance on VHF Channel 16. The position he gave was imprecise. Shortly after this call, the vessel sank. Portland Coastguard responded and tasked various search and rescue units. Two of those on board Blue Sinata managed to clear the sinking vessel and were safely recovered but the third, the skipper, went down with his boat and was drowned.

Safety issues

  • damage to the starboard quarter of the hull, coupled with the reduced freeboard, produced a flooding mechanism

  • Blue Sinata was not maintained to a very high standard

  • the engine’s seawater inlet valve was defective and could not be closed. This contributed to the flooding once the skipper had cut the hose leading to the engine’s seawater pump

  • although operated under the code for the safety of small fishing vessels, because of several shortcomings Blue Sinata was not in compliance with the code at the time of her loss


The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is recommended to require, with any application for a dispensation to catch undersized fish, the submission of evidence that any vessel named in such a dispensation has safety certification as required by the MCA.

The MCA is recommended to advise The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs of the safety certification that would be acceptable for a vessel catching undersized fish under a dispensation issued by them.

This report was published in March 2006.

Published 23 January 2015