Vessel stability, fisheries resource management, training, and unsafe work practices contributed to May 2012 prawn fishing vessel capsizing

GATINEAU, QC, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M12W0054) into the May 2012 capsizing and grounding of the small prawn fishing vessel Jessie G off Cape Beale, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

The Jessie G, loaded with prawn fishing equipment, encountered rough waters while rounding Cape Beale. The combined effects of the Jessie G's load distribution, hull characteristics, modifications, and the reduced height of the deck above sea level (freeboard) caused the vessel to roll. Water from a wave that came over the rail remained on the deck, the added weight of the water on deck caused the vessel to roll further and prevented recovery. It then capsized and the six crew members were rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard approximately 25 minutes later. The Jessie G was declared a total loss.

This accident illustrates how safety issues within the fishing community are complex and interrelated, as described in the TSB's Safety Issues Investigation into Fishing Safety in Canada. It categorizes 10 significant safety issues, as well as complex relationships and interdependencies among them. In the Jessie G accident, 7 of the 10 issues in the Safety Issues Investigation were at play. These were: stability, fisheries resource management, lifesaving appliances, training, information distribution, cost of safety and unsafe work practices. Until the complex relationship and interdependency among safety issues within the fishing community is understood and addressed, the safety of fishermen will continue to be at risk.

Following the accident, the Pacific Prawn Fisherman's Association worked with Fish Safe to develop a code of best practices for their fishery. The code is intended to address unsafe work practices that continue to put fishermen, their crew and vessels at risk.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Government of Canada

For further information:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Government of Canada

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