Sinking of small passenger ferry Vixen

Location: Ardlui Marina, Loch Lomond, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report 16/2013

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

VixenReport.pdf (5,577.49 kb)

Annexes (6,323.86 kb)


On 19 September 2012 small passenger ferry Vixen foundered around 50m from the shore as it crossed Loch Lomond, Scotland. The vessel sank with six passengers and the skipper on board. Some people swam to shore and the others were rescued by a nearby boat.

Safety lessons

  • Vixen was in poor condition and being operated contrary to legal requirements
  • some lifejackets were not accessible in the emergency, and none had the recommended minimum buoyancy


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the local government authorities have been recommended to work together to apply their different legislation and engage the support of Certifying Authorities to improve the safety of small commercial passenger boats on Loch Lomond.

The National Park Authority has been recommended to support this initiative by enforcing the requirements of its existing byelaws. Transport Scotland has been recommended to encourage all councils in Scotland to introduce effective boat hire licensing systems where there are similar commercial operations.

Published: 20 June 2013

Published 23 January 2015