Two fisherman died after trying to warm their fishing boat with a gas grill
An investigation into the deaths of two fishermen has concluded that they died from carbon monoxide poisoning after trying to heat their cabin with a gas cooker.
The report also found that no carbon monoxide alarm was fitted on their vessel.
Edward Ide, 21, and Mark Arries, 26, were found dead on board their scallop-dredger Eshcol in North Yorkshire on the morning of 15 January.
Crewman from another fishing vessel discovered the men after forcing open the wheelhouse door when they failed to respond. The gas grill was still lit and the wheelhouse was full of fumes.
It appears that the pair had been cold and wet and had left the grill on in order to warm the wheelhouse and sleeping area because the heaters on board did not work.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) also found a number of other contributing factors: “The metal gauze in the grill was holed and corroded, causing extraordinarily high levels of CO emissions.
“The cooker was four years old and had probably never been serviced. The wheelhouse doors and windows were closed and the sleeping area had no other means of ventilation.
“Neither the guidance for the installation of gas appliances on board the small fishing vessels nor the cooker manufacturer’s instructions had been followed when the cooker was fitted.”
The MAIB has made several recommendations to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to ensure that accommodation areas on such vessels are fitted with carbon monoxide alarms.
They have also made recommendations to the Sea Fish Industry Authority to raise general awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Both men had been fishermen since leaving school and had completed training on fire and safety.