NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Lifejacket 'may have saved fisherman' off Shetland

King Challenger Image copyright Davie Tait

A fisherman who died after falling overboard off Shetland may have survived if he had been wearing a lifejacket, a report has concluded.

Scott Rennie, from Newton Stewart, had been on the Ballantrae-registered King Challenger when the incident happened west of Scalloway in June last year.

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch report said he was incapacitated within four minutes of falling into the water.

It said with a lifejacket it was likely he would have been recovered alive.

The 31-year-old slipped and fell overboard from a tipping door.

Overboard drills

Mr Rennie's crewmates had recovered him from the water in less than 10 minutes, but he was unconscious.

A Coastguard rescue helicopter then transferred him to Gilbert Bain Hospital, but he could not be saved.

The MAIB said the crew was "unprepared for the rescue of an unconscious casualty from the water".

It added: "Following the accident, the owners of King Challenger prohibited their crews from climbing onto tipping doors without the use of a harness and lifeline.

"The owners have been recommended to review the risk assessments for all their vessels, paying particular attention to the risks associated with maintenance tasks."

Skippers have also been instructed to conduct man overboard drills on a monthly basis.

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