Sinking of small trawler Louisa with loss of 1 life

Location: 1.2nm south east of Southend Pier, England.

Completed PE Summary: Louisa

Fishing Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Louisa
Registered Owner Privately owned
Port of Registry London (LO26)
Flag UK
Type Trawler
Built 1990
Construction Steel
Length Overall 11.68m
Gross Tonnage 9.27
Date/Time 10 November 2008, 1302 UTC
Location of Incident Off Southend Pier
Incident Type Sinking
Persons Onboard 1
Injuries/Fatalities 1 person missing, presumed lost
Damage/Pollution Vessel lost


The fishing vessel Louisa had been raking the seabed for “white weed” off Shoebury Ness on the morning of 10 November 2008, when the weather deteriorated, with winds gusting up to Force 8 and rough seas. As the vessel headed back into her mooring, having stopped “weeding”, she foundered about 1.2 nm off of Southend Pier at 1302 UTC; no distress signal was received, and the owner, who was the only person on board, lost his life.

An extensive search was initiated after the vessel was reported overdue a couple of hours later, but only minor debris was found. A sonar search the following day located the vessel on the seabed, and she was recovered from the seabed 2 days after the accident by the Port of London Authority, but with no sign of the owner.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency highlighting that this accident, along with the capsize of the under 12m fishing vessel Georgie Fisher on 26 November 2008, both represent further examples of the foundering or capsize of small fishing vessels, identified as an area of concern in MAIB’s November 2008 report Analysis of Fishing Vessel Safety 1992 to 2006.

Published: January 2009

Published 23 January 2015