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Report on marine accident, Lill- Anne, 11 March 2009

The fishing smack Lill-Anne sailed north from the coast of Trøndelag together with an accompanying boat. They were going to the Lofoten fisheries. When crossing Vestfjorden, Lill- Anne was ahead of the accompanying boat, making 7.5 knots. The wind was from the southeast, a strong breeze with winds of 12 m/s, with gusts of up 16 m/s, at the time of the accident. The waves were moving towards the northeast (in to Vestfjorden) with a significant wave height of 2 metres. The wave velocity was about 14-18 knots. The vessels received the sea aft on the port quarter and the wind from aft. At approx. 2257 hours on Wednesday, 11 March 2009, Lill-Anne sank in Vestfjorden between Myken and Røst, at position N 67° 04.89' E 012° 20.92'. The owner of the smack was later found dead in the wheel house.

The Accident Investigation Board considers it likely that Lill-Anne sheered off to port when it was overtaken by a higher wave. At the same time, the smack heeled over to starboard, and loose equipment was displaced towards the starboard side of the boat. Water came onto the work deck. As the hatch to the hold was open, water came into the hold. The hold, the engine room, the wheel house and the cabin consisted in reality of one single room (there was a watertight bulkhead separating the deck and the wheel house from the engine room, but the engine cover was loose and had no fastening arrangement). With 500 litres of water in the hold and on the deck, little or no residual stability remained.

The aft end may have sunk while the vessel developed a list towards starboard as a result of equipment becoming displaced, water on the deck, water in the hold and the external forces in the form of wind and waves from the port side.

The time that elapsed from the smack sheered off from its course and until the aft end sank has been estimated to be very brief, seconds rather than minutes.

The combination of the accident happening very quickly, cold water, the sinking aft end and lack of alternative escape routes contributed to the operator drowning in the wheel house.

Lill-Anne floated on a pocket of air in the bow before finally sinking in the middle of Vestfjorden. A search and rescue operation was quickly launched for the missing fisherman.

Stability calculations prepared by the Accident Investigation Board show that Lill-Anne originally had good stability. Loose equipment, modifications and an open hatch were operational and technical conditions of great significance for the course of events and the outcome of the accident. In 1989, a new and larger engine was installed. This resulted in a need for more air. However, as the ventilation opening had not been modified, this resulted in a need to keep the hatch to the hold partially open during the voyage.

One safety recommendation is directed to owners and users of smacks and one recommendation is directed to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate. Safety recommendations have also been issued to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate following the investigation of other marine accidents involving smacks. Two of these are also relevant for this accident.



Location Vestfjorden, Norway
Occurrence date 11.03.2009
Accident category Lost ship
Area Norwegian Territorial Waters
Name of vessel Lill-Anne
Accident type Fatal Accident, Shifting cargo, Lost/missing vessel, Capsize
Vessel type Fishing Vessel
Register The Norwegian Fishing Vessel Register

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