Flooding incidents on twin rigged stern trawler Audacious and beam trawler Chloe T resulting in both vessels sinking

Location: Audacious: 45 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland. Chloe T: 17 miles south west of Bolt Head, Devon, England.

Accident Investigation Report 27/2013

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

Audacious-ChloeT.pdf (1,787.21 kb)

Annexes (2,412.52 kb)


MAIB Report on the investigations of the flooding and foundering of the fishing vessel Audacious 45 miles east of Aberdeen on 10 August 2012, and the flooding and foundering of the fishing vessel Chloe T 17 miles south west of Bolt Head, Devon on 1 September 2012.

Safety Issues

  • the engine room of both vessels flooded rapidly and the bilge pumps were unable to cope with the ingress
  • it is likely that both accidents were caused by the failure of the vessels’ seawater cooling systems
  • the crews were unable to close seawater inlet valves because they became quickly submerged by flood water
  • on Audacious, the bilge alarm activated but this was not detected at an early stage because the wheelhouse was unmanned for a period
  • on board Chloe T, it is likely that the bilge alarms fitted to the vessel were inoperative


Recommendations (2013/249 & 250) have been made to the MCA which seek to improve the scope, scheduling, application and record keeping for surveys and inspections of fishing vessels.

A recommendation (2013/251) has been made to the owner of Audacious regarding bridge watchkeeping standards.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and the Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation have been recommended (2013/252) to promulgate the lessons learned from this accident and that of Audacious, and particularly the need for fishing vessel operators to thoroughly inspect seawater pipework, to their members.

This report was published on 19 December 2013.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015