Purbeck Isle Life Raft Deaths

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Purbeck Isle Life Raft Deaths

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report has found that 3 fishermen died because an incorrectly-stowed life raft failed when their vessel sank.  The boat which was called the Purbeck Isle was found on the seabed with its life-raft still on board 50m below the surface.  If there has been any negligence this could lead to an accident at work compensation claim.

The report also stated that it was “entirely possible” the fishermen could have survived if the raft had inflated.

Who were the victims?

  • David McFarlane aged 35
  • Jack Craig aged 21
  • Robert Prowse aged 20

What did the MAIB report say?

The report stated:

“Because the life raft canister did not fit snugly into its cradle, the skipper had applied additional lashings to prevent it from falling off the wheelhouse roof in heavy seas. These additional lashings had been intertwined with the life raft’s main lashing rope and they prevented the raft from floating free.”

The MAIB report strongly advises fishing vessel owners to ensure life rafts are stowed and secured properly to avoid disasters like this.

You can read the full report at http://www.maib.gov.uk/home/index.cfm

What responsibilities does the Employer have?

If you are an Employee working on a fishing boat or anywhere, your Employer has a duty to make you reasonably safe whilst you work for them.  This means that they have to train you on an ongoing basis and also carry out Risk Assessments to make sure that the work you are doing and the place you are working at is safe.  In this tragic case, that would mean that there should have been a Risk Assessment for the life boat covering inspections, maintenance, drills, etc.  If your Employer does not keep you safe you can make an accident at work compensation claim.

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