Grounding and subsequent sinking of crabber Kerloch

Location: Crow Rock off Linney Head, Wales

Accident Investigation Report 12/2010

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

KerlochReport.pdf (941.91 kb)



At 1725 on 20 February 2010, the Jersey-registered crabber Kerloch (J235) was returning to port when she ran aground on Crow Rock, off the Pembrokeshire coast. The vessel began to sink rapidly and all four crew donned their lifejackets, then deployed and got into the liferaft. The crew were recovered from their liferaft by another fishing vessel and subsequently transferred to the Angle ALB and then ashore. There were no injuries and no pollution.

Safety Issues

  • the warm wheelhouse with no through ventilation, the low sun in the sky, and the slight sea encouraged the skipper to fall asleep in the comfort of the wheelhouse chair
  • the watch routine would have failed to comply with the EC working time directives required for quality of rest, had they been applicable to a Jersey registered fishing vessel in terms of quantity of rest
  • the grounding could have been avoided had the skipper properly planned and maintained a safe track
  • had monthly emergency drills been conducted on board Kerloch, the immediate response to the accident might have been more assured


A recommendation has been made to the States of Jersey to expedite the current update of the regulatory framework applicable to Jersey-registered fishing vessels. Recommendations have also been made to the manager and operators of Kerloch, which promote adherence to best practice guidance available in the UK.

A safety flyer to the fishing industry highlighting a number of the safety lessons was produced for this report.

This report was published on 30 November 2004.

Published 23 January 2015