• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Captain blamed for boat sinking

An investigation into why a fishing boat sank off the Scots coast has blamed the captain for being distracted by a telephone call.

Skipper Neil King, of MacDuff, Moray, was in charge of the Prospect last August when she ran aground on Skibby Baas rocks at Lerwick Harbour in Shetland.

Mr King and his three crew were rescued by Lerwick's lifeboat, but despite attempts to tow the vessel to safety, she soon sank in 50 feet of water. In a report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) on Wednesday, it was claimed that as well as being distracted by a phone call, Mr King's judgement may have also been hampered by alcohol drunk earlier that day.

It said: "The skipper had not effectively planned and monitored the vessel's passage. He had become distracted in continuing a telephone conversation while altering the vessel's course. It is possible that his performance was adversely affected by alcohol."

Weather conditions on August 5 were not considered a reason to cause the crash, as it was sunny with good visibility, a force two wind and a "smooth" sea-state.

In their report, the MAIB recommended Mr King, attend a navigation skills refresher course.

Contextual targeting label: 
Weather

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

214338