Flooding and sinking of wooden potter Majestic

Location: 5 nautical miles off Yell, Shetland, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 16/2016

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

MAIB investigation report 16-2016: Majestic

Underwater image showing sandbags against the wreck

Crew being recovered from liferaft onto another fishing vessel.


This reports the MAIB’s investigation into the sinking of fishing vessel Majestic (LK678) 5 nautical miles off Yell, Shetland on 21 January 2016.

Safety Issues

  • The flood in the engine room was not detected for up to 1 hour because the crew were working on the deck and did not hear the bilge alarm

  • No attempt was made to slow the rate of the flood through the operation of the electric bilge pump or by stopping the main engine

  • The crew did not conduct emergency drills

  • The prompt distress alert and abandonment reduced the risk to the crew’s lives

  • PFDs were not routinely worn whilst working on deck and lifejackets were not donned when abandoning the vessel


Recommendations have been made to the vessel’s owners (2016/135) to take steps to ensure on any vessel they own or skipper in the future that:

  • The dangers of leaving the wheelhouse unattended are fully assessed so that practical measures can be adopted to mitigate such risks;

  • Emergency drills are conducted in accordance with MSN 1770 (F) and;

  • PFDs are worn by all crew when working on the open deck at sea

A safety flyer highlighting a number of the safety issues was produced for this report.

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