Accident Investigation Report 24/2016
Investigation report into marine accident including what happened and safety lessons learned:
On 9 March 2016, 3 French fishing vessels sought shelter from bad weather in Dartmouth harbour, on the south-west coast of England. One of the vessels, Saint Christophe 1, was directed to berth alongside a quay wall and when the tide went out it grounded and capsized alongside. Saint Christophe 1 subsequently flooded and sank with the incoming tide, and was declared a constructive total loss.
- The lack of effective communication between harbour authority staff and vessel’s crew failed to ensure a common understanding of the fact that the boat would ground at low water
- The assumption that the crew understood the information provided by the harbour staff, prevented further safety checks from being made
- The harbour authority staff directed the boat to berth alongside a quay that had been identified as hazardous without ensuring that mitigating measures were put in place
- Saint Christophe 1 was not able to be made watertight due to the fastenings on several doors and hatches having been disabled
- The crew of Saint Christophe 1 did not verify the safety of the berth
The MAIB has made safety recommendations to the vessel’s owners (2016/152), and to Dartmouth Harbour Navigation Authority (2016/151). These are intended to help improve the onboard safety management of Saint Christophe 1 and another of the fishing vessels (Sagittaire) and the safety management within the port of Dartmouth.
The report also makes a recommendation (2016/150) to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to undertake a Port Marine Safety Code health check for Dartmouth in 2017.
A safety flyer highlighting a number of the safety issues was produced for this report.