An unstable trawler has been blamed for the deaths of two fishermen who drowned after their vessel sank in Loch Fyne four years ago.
Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk died when the Nancy Glen capsized one and a half miles north-east of Barmore Island in January 2018.
A fatal accident inquiry into the tragedy ruled that it could have been avoided if the owners of the vessel had taken professional advice before having large amounts of its ballast removed in 2002 and 2016, and making modifications a month before the incident.
The hearing found that the vessel’s stability was “significantly reduced” by these actions.
The accident was caused when the vessel’s trawl gear became embedded in the sea floor and caused a force
to be imparted upon the vessel which it lacked the stability to withstand and resulted in its capsize.
The bodies Mr MacDougall, 46, and Mr Krawczyck, 38, were found trapped in the wreckage.
A third Nancy Glen crew member, John Millar, survived the capsizing after being rescued by a passing vessel.
It was also stated that instead of storing catch in the fish hold, it was standard practice on the Nancy Glen to store catch in water in tanks on the main deck and on the shelter deck, thus raising the vessel’s centre of gravity and diminishing its stability even further.
As a result of the findings Sheriff Patrick Hughes recommended that stability awareness training be made mandatory for masters of fishing vessels of between seven and 16 metres in length.