Skip­per’s death re­sulted from se­ries of safety fail­ures

The Oban Times - - News -

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’.

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