Skipper’s death resulted from series of safety failures
AN OBAN boat skipper died in an accident caused by a series of factors, an investigation has found.
Jamie Kerr, 25, was killed last April when a crane collapsed onto him on a workboat at a fish farm on Mull.
Now a report published by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has blamed a series of safety failings for the death of Mr Kerr aboard the Carol Anne on Loch Spelve.
Among them, the report says, were safety issues that included no installation guidance being provided with the crane; the crane being installed with smaller and fewer tie bolts than intended by its manufacturer; the lock nuts being of a lower grade material strength than indicated by their markings; and the statutory thor- ough examination and test of the crane following its installation not identifying the inadequacy of the mounting arrangement.
The MAIB report says: ‘The crane fell onto the workboat’s skipper, who was declared deceased at the scene. The crane had been in operation since its installation six and half weeks earlier. It was not overloaded when it failed.’
Mr Kerr, who was employed by Inverlussa Marine Services (IMS), was supervising a 20-year- old deckhand during the unloading of nets at Balure when the tragedy happened.
The report adds: ‘Mr Kerr … had worked as a fisherman since leaving school and held a Royal Yachting Association Yachtmaster Offshore certificate that had been commercially endorsed. He had also completed the mandatory basic safety training required by fishermen and had been trained and certified to operate a sea crane in April 2013.’
Mr Kerr joined IMS in October 2013 and was promoted to skipper and started to work on board Carol Anne in January 2015.
The MAIB report makes a number of recommendations, including that the crane’s Ger- many-based manufacturer, Atlas Maschinen GmbH, ensures ‘that installation information is provided with all Atlas cranes fitted in the UK’ and that IMS and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency ‘improve adherence to, and the effectiveness of, established codes of practice with regard to the installation or replacement of shipborne cranes on workboats’.