Grounding and sinking of stern trawler Faithful Friend II

Location: Rocks off Bayble Island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Faithful Friend II

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name:   Faithful Friend II
Vessel Owner:   Private
Port of Registry:   Fraserburgh
Flag:   UK
Type:   Stern Trawler
Built:   1970
Construction:   Wood
Length overall:   17.92m
Gross tonnage:   54
Date & Time:   6 November 2008, 0643 UTC
Location of incident:   58º 11.2 N 006º 12.27 W Off Bayble Island
Incident Type:   Grounding and foundering
Persons onboard:   3
Injuries/fatalities:   0
Damage/pollution:   Vessel lost with some minor pollution


Faithful Friend II was on passage to her fishing grounds when the skipper left the wheelhouse to make a cup of coffee. The vessel was on a north-easterly course with the autopilot engaged; it was dark and the vessel was within 0.5 mile of the shore. A few minutes later, the vessel struck charted rocks off Bayble Island and started to take water rapidly. The skipper immediately alerted the vessel’s two deckhands, who were asleep below. A “Mayday” was transmitted on VHF radio before the skipper and his crew abandoned the vessel into a liferaft. The “Mayday” was received by the local coastguard station, and by a nearby fishing vessel, which recovered the men from the liferaft within 15 minutes. Faithful Friend II sank shortly afterwards.

Action taken

The Deputy Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the vessel’s owners strongly advising them to ensure the wheelhouse watchkeeping practices adopted on any fishing vessels they own or skipper in the future are in accordance with the guidance provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Published: December 2008

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