The owner of a north-east fishing vessel where a man died after inhaling dangerous fumes has been fined for safety failings.
Peterhead man James Thores was charged following the death of 37-year-old Artis Sterkis, his ship’s engineer, in 2011 and today has been told to pay the courts £20,000.
Thores plead guilty to the charge last month at Elgin Sheriff Court.
Father-of-one Mr Sterkis had been sailing on the MFV Starlight Rays for two days before he was instructed by Thores to pump out water from a small section of boat near the fish hold.
However, neither of the vessel’s two pump systems were operational on August 25 and a petrol-powered device was used in their place.
Mr Sterkis was found unconscious within by a co-workers who himself suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The boat was stationed in the BP-owned Devenick field about 169 miles off the coast of Aberdeen when the incident happened.
The crew had been contracted by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation to carry out guard duties for the offshore industry.
A rescue helicopter was dispatched and airlifted Mr Sterkis and another crewman to hospital but Mr Sterkis did not recover.
Today, Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said if Thores had followed recommendations from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, then this accident would not have occurred.
Bill Bennett, area manager, survey and inspection said this was an accident which should never have happened.
He said: ‘The dangers of using a petrol engine in a confined space are well known. The vessel was provided with two primary pumping systems either of which could have and should have been operational.
‘There should have been no reason to use the petrol pump which was onboard as an emergency fire pump, not as a salvage pump.’