Person overboard from potter Blue Angel with 1 person injured

Location: West of Gigha, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 12/2011

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

BlueAngelReport.pdf (2,944.04 kb)


At 1248 UTC on 6 January 2011, a fisherman on board the 8.24m potter Blue Angel was dragged overboard when his leg became caught in the back rope of a fleet of creels that was being shot over the stern. He was submerged for several minutes at a depth of up to 40 metres before the two remaining crewmen managed to recover him on board and administer first-aid. A coastguard helicopter arrived on scene swiftly and transferred the fisherman to hospital where he made a full recovery.

Safety Issues

  • Blue Angel’s creels could become jammed in the stern opening if they were dragged through at certain angles
  • working practices on board meant that when a fisherman went aft to free a jammed creel, he was likely to walk on or near the back rope and risk becoming caught in a bight of rope and being dragged overboard
  • there was no system of positive communication between the fishermen and the skipper to ensure that the boat was slowed and the weight taken off the back line when a crew member went aft
  • although personal flotation devices (PFD) were available on board, they were not worn routinely by the crew


The vessel’s owner has been recommended to improve the safety of the self-shooting arrangement on board.

This report was published on 22 July 2011.

Published 23 January 2015