The investigation into a fatal man overboard onboard Norwegian fishing vessel ‘Hunter’ issues immediate warnings on safety-critical conditions
The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board has warned authorities of safety-critical conditions on board the fishing vessel ‘Hunter’, following the fatal accident which occurred on 30 January 2023.
On Tuesday 07 February, investigators notified the Norwegian Maritime Directorate of three safety-critical conditions which they believe must be taken care of immediately following the fatal man overboard incident involving a Latvian fisherman in his 30s.
The Hunter was fishing for snow crab in the eastern Barents Sea, when it is thought the man went overboard when shooting gear. A search for the casualty was unsuccessful and later authorities announced that he was presumed dead.
In a statement on their NSIA website the Investigation board said:
“The Accident Investigation Board has carried out investigations on board Hunter, where interviews have also been conducted with the crew. The investigations have so far revealed three conditions which are of such a nature that the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board sees a need to inform the Norwegian Maritime Directorate about the conditions (see Notice on safety-critical conditions SHK no. 2023/01). Thus, before SHK’s investigation is over, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate can take the necessary measures pending the investigation’s final results.
The notice deals with conditions related to language skills, conditions related to the transport of bait and conditions related to the work process of connecting the fishing line to the line.
The Accident Investigation Board’s recommendations to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate are:
- The Accident Investigation Board advises the Norwegian Maritime Directorate to ensure that the shipping company ensures the necessary English skills for the crew on the fishing vessel Hunter so that safe operation can be ensured.
- The Accident Investigation Board advises the Norwegian Maritime Directorate to ensure that the shipping company ensures that the transport of bait on board is done in such a way that this does not expose the crew to the risk of falling overboard.
- The Accident Investigation Board advises the Norwegian Maritime Directorate to ensure that the shipping company secures the work process on the aft deck during line setting so that there is no risk of falling overboard.
Attention is drawn to the fact that the Accident Investigation Board is in an early phase of the investigation and further investigations remain.”
Marit Nilsen, Communications Adviser in the Norwegian Maritime Directorate told Norwegian fishing magazine Skipsrevyen, “We agree with the advice given by the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board and it is natural for us to follow this up in the further supervisory work.”
According to Nilsen, no decision has been made to detain ‘Hunter‘.
The accident is being investigated by the Troms police district. Police and crisis teams met the crew when ‘Hunter’ docked in Tromsø on Friday.
The shipping company is now dealing with the Accident Investigation Board’s and the Norwegian police’s forensic examination of the boat.