Grounding of prawn trawler Oceana

Location: Mill Rock, off Troon, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Oceana

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name:   Oceana
Manager:   SB Fish Agency Ltd
Ship Owner:   Trust Fishing Ltd
Port of Registry:   Peterhead
Flag:   UK
Type:   Prawn Trawler
Built:   2000
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   9.95m
Gross tonnage:   14.68
Date & Time:   9 May 2008, approx 0725
Location of incident:   Mill Rock, off Troon, Scotland
Incident Type:   Grounding
Persons onboard:   4
Injuries/fatalities:   Nil
Damage/pollution:   Material damage to the FV. Release of approx 250l diesel oil to sea.


Oceana, a 10m prawn trawler, grounded while returning to harbour, when her skipper fell asleep at the helm. The vessel suffered extensive hull damage, but there were no injuries.

Oceana’s skipper was a witness in an on-going case and was required to attend court daily. To keep fishing, he attended court by day and fished by night, and was achieving about 2 hours sleep a day.

This routine continued for 4 days before the skipper fell asleep at the helm as Oceana was returning to Troon at the end of an overnight trip. The autopilot was on, and the remainder of the crew were inside the shelter deck processing prawns. The boat steamed across the fairway to Troon - a channel used by high speed ferries - and grounded on Mill Rock, a well marked isolated rock, about half a mile off the harbour.

Although the owners were aware of the skipper’s circumstances, they had taken no action to provide additional watchkeepers or a replacement skipper to cover the period the skipper was attending court.

Action taken

The Deputy Chief Inspector has written to the skipper, the fishing vessel owners and the management company, highlighting the safety issues that have arisen as a result of this accident.

Published: November 2008

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