This reports the MAIB’s investigation of the loss of a crewman overboard from the motor tug Endurance 2.3 miles west-south-west of Beachy Head, England on 5 February 2013. The crewman fell while attempting to cross to the unmanned motor cruiser Sirius M with a replacement towline after the original towline connecting the two vessels had parted. The motor tug’s skipper’s efforts to recover the crewman back on board in rough seas were unsuccessful.
The key safety issues identified were:
Endurance was not certified to operate in the sea conditions experienced.
The skipper was not qualified to operate the vessel during the coastal sections of the intended voyage.
The skipper was not trained or qualified in towing operations and did not follow good practice.
Decision-making and behaviour on board were likely to have been affected by fatigue.
Safety was afforded a low priority on board.
Issues relating to the roles of the vessel’s Certifying Authority and the port authorities were also identified.