| Code: 112443 |

TIN news:   The UK MAIB has issued report regarding the loss of a crewman overboard from the fishing vessel Our Sarah Jane (NN710) in the English Channel on 9 June 2016. His body was not recovered.
The incident
On 9 June 2016 a crewman on the 9.8m potter Our Sarah Jane was lost after he had jumped into the sea to cut a line that was fouling one of the vessel’s propellers. At about 1200, the starboard propeller of Our Sarah Jane had been fouled by a string of pots as they were being shot away, and this effectively anchored the vessel in the middle of the English Channel.
During the next 30 minutes the crew tried to reach and cut the backrope leading to the seabed, but the line was too taut to pull inboard using a grapple and it could not be reached even with a knife cable-tied to the end of a broom handle. As the vessel’s skipper was arranging for a nearby fishing vessel to assist, one of the vessel’s two deckhands took off his wellington boots and oilskins and jumped overboard to cut the backrope. He immediately started to struggle and was carried away from the vessel by a 2kts tidal stream.
The skipper tied a polysteel mooring rope to a lifebuoy and threw it towards the man overboard, but it fell short. The skipper then parted the backline by putting both engines ahead at fast speed, but when the vessel was manoeuvred close to the man overboard he was face-down and motionless.
The lifebuoy was again thrown, but the man overboard did not respond. The other deckhand jumped into the water to assist but he also quickly got into difficulty and started to lose his strength. He was not wearing a lifejacket and was being weighed down by the polysteel rope from the lifebuoy, which he had used as a lifeline. The skipper pulled the deckhand back on board but, by then, the man overboard was no longer in sight. Despite an extensive air and sea search he was not found.
Findings
The MAIB investigation identified that the man overboard had possibly been using recreational drugs, and had jumped into the water despite the skipper instructing him not to do so. He and the other deckhand almost certainly suffered from cold water shock following immersion. In addition, the assistance to the man overboard was initially impeded by the vessel’s inability to manoeuvre, and valuable seconds were lost by not having at hand a lifebuoy with a lifeline already attached.
Recommendations
A recommendation (2016/154) has been made to the vessel’s owner aimed at ensuring that lifesaving equipment is readily available and improving the crew’s ability to deal effectively with emergency situations.
Further details may be found in the investigation report below
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UK MAIB further published safety flyer highlighting a number of the safety issues was produced for this report.
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