Grounding of twin-rig stern trawler Prospect and subsequent sinking while under tow

Location: Grounding on Skibby Baas, sinking at entrance to Lerwick Harbour, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 7/2014

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made:

Prospect.pdf (2,300.62 kb)

Photograph of Prospect


On 5 August 2013, the twin-rig stern trawler Prospect grounded on Skibby Baas rocks in the north entrance to Lerwick Harbour, Scotland while heading to its intended fishing grounds. The fish hold to began flood and the pumps were unable to cope. When the vessel floated free from the rocks on the rising tide, it adopted an angle of loll. The skipper and three crewmen safely transferred to the Lerwick all weather lifeboat. Prospect was taken under tow but foundered a short time later. The vessel was salvaged but declared a constructive total loss.

Safety lessons

  • the skipper had not effectively planned and monitored the vessel’s passage and had become distracted by continuing a telephone conversation while altering course

  • it is possible that the performance of the skipper had been adversely affected by alcohol that he had consumed earlier that day


A recommendation (2014/108) has been made to the skipper to attend a navigation skills refresher course. A further recommendation (2014/109) has been made to Prospect’s owner aimed at improving navigation practices and emergency procedures on any future vessels it may own.

Published: 19 February 2014

Published 23 January 2015