Flooding and sinking of twin rig trawler Sharona

Location: 80 miles north-east of Peterhead, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 25/2000

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

sharona.pdf (987.59 kb)


On 3 August 1999 twin rig trawler Sharona was fishing 80 miles north-east of Peterhead, Scotland. The crew discovered flooding in the engine room. Actions on board led to further flooding and all electrical power eventually was lost. A coastguard tow was requested. Flooding continued under tow leading to the loss of the vessel. The crew were safely transferred to the towing vessel, which arrived in Aberdeen the following day.

Safety Issues

  • the decision to haul the fishing gear, which resulted in a failure to stop the main engine immediately and thereby, prevent further flooding
  • the failure of the engine room bilge alarm
  • the failure to detect defective pipework


Our investigation has resulted in a recommendation to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to consider updating its advice given in Merchant Shipping Notice M631, and to include a reference on the work-hardening of copper piping.

This report was published on 1 August 2000.

Published 23 January 2015