Snagging, capsize and sinking of stern trawler Sundance with loss of 1 life

Location: Off Gilkicker Point, East Solent, England.

Accident Investigation Report 22/2002

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

sundance.pdf (277.06 kb)


At about 1032 on 10 September 2001, the 10m-long stern trawler Sundance capsized and foundered. The skipper, his son and a crew member were thrown into the water, and as a result the crew member died.

Safety Issues

The investigation has highlighted the need for skippers to have a good basic understanding of ship stability so that they are able to make informed decisions when extraordinary events occur. It also, highlights, once again, the common-sense advice for fishermen to wear lifejackets when working on the open deck, even in benign weather and sea conditions.


No specific recommendations arise from this accident. However, we hope that by publishing this report, and widely publicising the findings:

  • the growing argument for fishermen to wear lifejackets when on the open deck will be reinforced; and
  • fishermen will be encouraged to read the MCA publication “Capsize Safety for Fishing Vessels” which includes sensible advice concerning stability.

This report was published in July 2002.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015