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Sheriff to probe death of fisherman on Mull mussel farm in 2015

Oban Sheriff Court
Oban Sheriff Court

The death of a fisherman who was killed when a crane collapsed on his vessel is to be probed by a sheriff.

Jamie Kerr, 25, was working as skipper when the tragedy took place at a fish farm at Loch Spelve, near Craignure on the Isle of Mull.

The Inverlussa Marine Services worker was supervising a 20-year-old deckhand in unloading the last of the nets when the crane suddenly collapsed.

His colleague managed to run for safety but Mr Kerr was pinned to the side of the vessel, Carole Anne, and could not be saved.

A fatal accident inquiry is to be held at Oban Sheriff Court where the full circumstances surrounding the death in April 2015 will be investigated.

An investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said his death could have been avoided if the crane had been more securely attached to the vessel’s deck.

They found the bolts, nuts and washers used to secure it were weaker and fewer than required.

Following his death, managing director of Inverlussa, Ben Wilson said: “Everyone is devastated by this loss.

“Jamie was one of our brightest and best.”

A preliminary hearing has been fixed for later this month with the full inquiry to get under way later.

The MAIB report stated: “Suddenly, there was a loud bang and the crane toppled towards the skipper and the deckhand.

“The deckhand ran aft towards the wheelhouse and the skipper ran forward. As the crane fell, it swivelled towards the slipway. Its boom struck the skipper and pinned him to the bow ramp.”

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