Person overboard from twin rig trawler Zenith with loss of 1 life

Location: 29 miles south-east of Kilkeel, Northern Ireland

Accident Investigation Report 4/2013

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made.

Zenith-Report.pdf (4,673.94 kb)

Report summary

On 29 January 2012 a crew member was fatally lost overboard the fishing vessel Zenith, 29 miles south-east of Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.

Safety lessons

  • the fisherman was not wearing a lifejacket and the crew had no suitable equipment available to hold him alongside whilst his recovery was effected
  • the accident was a consequence of the unsafe practice of crew standing on the aft bulwark top rail during initial net hauling, which had become customary in favourable sea conditions
  • the vessel’s owners had not carried out a safety evaluation of their working operations nor had they carried out emergency drills


A recommendation (2013/112) has been made to the owners of Zenith which seeks to improve the overall safety of their crews. A recommendation (2013/113) has also been made to the Sea Fish Industry Authority regarding facilitation of practical assistance for fishermen in the development of risk assessments.

Furthermore, the MCA has been recommended (2013/114) to further strengthen its procedures for renewal and intermediate surveys of fishing vessels to ensure that the effectiveness of emergency drills and crew training certificates are routinely observed by its surveyors.

Published: 24 January 2013

Published 23 January 2015