Unmarked Fishing Gear

Report Text: 

Vessel ran over unseen lobster pot marker, which was marked with a half submerged plastic container.  Rope wrapped around propeller and shaft, bringing vessel to a halt.  Engine was not running at the time.  Rope was removed when engine was started, but there was no drive in forward or reverse and rudder did not have free movement.  Prop shaft was found on examination by engineers to have been pulled from gearbox.  There are many such lobster pot markers in eastern Solent and off NE side of Isle of Wight; some almost invisible.

CHIRP Comment

Regular readers will know CHIRP has been assisting in the capture of data on encounters with unmarked fishing gear.  The above report is an example of the type of incidents reported.

In 2004 CHIRP received a total of ten reports from around the UK, detailing various encounters with fishing gear and other flotsam and jetsam.  Some of these encounters resulted in serious consequences, but fortunately no loss of life.

It is hoped that the information submitted to the MCA, MAIB, NFFO and RYA will assist them in developing an accurate assessment of the risks to life associated with these encounters and in identifying appropriate solutions, where required.

The data collection exercise will continue through 2005, so please continue to report your encounters to the RYA or, if necessary, CHIRP.