A report has found that the fishing vessel had not been checked properly, causing it to sink and kill three men.
The Ocean Way, a 17m twin rig stern trawler, which capsized 100 mile off Farne Islands, Tyne and Wear, claiming the lives of three of its five crewmen, was poorly checked and maintained, a Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) inquest has found.
The fishing boat’s freeing ports (a type of scupper) weren’t working properly and they’d reduced in size over the years, trapping water onboard, destabilising the trawler and eventually causing it to capsize.
The crew called for help activating the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) however, the system was not fitted with integral Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) delaying rescuers in finding the location of the craft. It took the rescue mission 47 minutes to locate the craft and deploy helicopters.
Furthermore two liferafts had become trapped inside the boat and couldn’t inflate and float.
The Ocean way trawler eventually capsized and sunk, claiming the life of its skipper, James Noble, and two Filipino fishermen, Michael Pulpul and Jonito Antonio Jr.
Noble was assisted by a helicopter but later died. Pulpul and Antonio Jr. have never been found.
A recommendation has been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to “ensure that the EPIRBs required to be carried on UK registered fishing vessels are equipped with integral GNSS receivers” and that surveyors maintain freeing ports.