Person overboard from sailing yacht Pastime with loss of 1 life

Location: English Channel off the south coast of England.

Accident Investigation Report 25/2006

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

Pastime.pdf (1,454.59 kb)

Text for article on MAIB investigation into the death of a skipper. (98.47 kb)


On 17 March 2006, a 9 metre leisure yacht was being delivered from Hamble to Plymouth. On board were the owner and a delivery skipper. At about 2330, the delivery skipper went overboard. Due to electrical power problems on board, the GPS was not functioning, and although the alarm was raised by VHF radio, the owner was unable to give his position, and the VHF radio soon stopped operating. A search and rescue operation involving three RNLI lifeboats, five merchant ships and a coastguard helicopter, eventually located both the skipper’s body and the yacht.

Safety Issues

  • fatigue and seasickness probably affected the crew’s decision-making
  • the skipper was not wearing his lifeline
  • the owner could not read the instructions on the distress flares, and had to rely on his memory to be able to fire them
  • the low voltage alarm on the electrical system had been disconnected


No recommendations have been made as a result of this report.

This report was published on 8 September 2006.

Published 23 January 2015