Person overboard from potter Etoile Des Ondes with loss of 1 life

Location: English Channel.

Completed PE Summary: Etoile Des Ondes

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Registered Owner & Manager:   Mr Robert Simmonds
Port of registry:   Weymouth
Flag:   UK
Type:   Potter
Built:   1957
Construction:   Wood
Length overall:   14.5m
Gross tonnage:   40.00
Date & Time   21/05/05 09:55
Location of incident:   Foriegn high seas
Incident Type:   Accident to Person
Persons onboard:   4 crew
Injuries/ fatalities:   1 fatality
Damage/ Pollution:   None


Shortly after a string of pots had been shot from this 14.5 metre long potter, a crewman was noticed to be missing. After a quick search of the vessel it was concluded he had fallen overboard. A large search and rescue operation by French and UK aircraft and surface vessels failed to find him.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine accidents has written to the vessel’s owner and skipper, recommending that they:

  • re-examine operational aspects of the vessel with aim of reducing the chances of crew falling overboard

  • encourage the wearing of permanent wear buoyancy aids or lifejackets by crew working on deck

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