Man overboard from ocean rowing boat Toby Wallace with loss of 1 life

Location: North Atlantic Ocean.

Accident Investigation Report 2/2017

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened and safety lessons learned:

MAIB investigation report 2-2017: Toby Wallace

Ocean rowing boat Toby Wallace after abandonment


Report on the investigation of the fatal man overboard from the ocean rowing boat Toby Wallace in the North Atlantic Ocean on 14 February 2016.

Safety Issues

  • A rower was washed overboard and drifted away from the ocean rowing boat because he was not suitably tethered
  • Likelihood of survival was reduced by not wearing a lifejacket or personal locator beacon (PLB)
  • Safety standards and crew preparation were insufficient to deal with the risks faced
  • Commercially operated ocean rowing boats are not regulated and no minimum safety standards have been set


Recommendations have been made to British Rowing (2016/101 and 2016/102), the governing body for ocean rowing in England, and to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (2016/101) that are intended to improve the governance of UK registered ocean rowing boats and ensure minimum safety standards on board those that are commercially operated.

A recommendation made to Oceanus Rowing Ltd (2016/103) is aimed at improving the safety of its boats on ocean crossings in the future.

Published 1 February 2017