Grounding and sinking of stern trawler Brothers with loss of 2 lives

Location: Off Eilean Trodday near Skye, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 1/2007

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

BrothersReport.pdf (1,597.79 kb)

Annexes (987.79 kb)


The Banff registered stern trawler Brothers BF138 sailed from Gairloch with a 2-man crew at about 0225 on the morning of 1 June 2006. At about 0520 the vessel grounded and then sank off Eilean Trodday, a small uninhabited island off the north coast of Skye. No “Mayday” message was broadcast.

Safety Issues

It is believed the vessel probably grounded due to one of the crew falling asleep in the wheelhouse, which allowed the vessel to sail past her intended fishing grounds and onto the shore at Eilean Trodday. Both crew would have been suffering the effects of fatigue brought on by a number of long days at work, with only short, broken sleep periods. Both crew had also drunk some alcohol before the vessel left the harbour


In the light of the actions already taken as a result of this investigation, no formal recommendations are being made. However, the MAIB strongly advises all owners and skippers of under 12 metre fishing vessels to fit an EPIRB and a liferaft fitted with a hydrostatic release system. Finance to pay the full price for this equipment is available in some UK regions and, in any case, the price is a small one to pay compared to the benefits that can be gained.

This report was published on 31 January 2007.

Published 23 January 2015