Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths onboard MFV Vision II

Summary of the FAI Determination into the deaths of Ramilito Capangpangan Calipayan and Benjamin Rosillo Potot in Fraserburgh Harbour.

In terms of Section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976 between 00.30am and 01.30 am on Friday 1st August 2008, Ramilito Capangpangan Calipayan and Benjamin Rosillo Potot died within the galley and Rimants Venckus died within the wheelhouse on board the vessel MFV Vision II BF 190 berthed at Provost Park Jetty, Balaclava Inner Harbour, Fraserburgh. Each of the deaths resulted from a fire which occurred on board the Vision ll.

The deaths of Ramilito Capangpangan Calipayan, Benjamin Rosillo Potot and Rimants Venckus were caused by the inhalation of smoke and fire gases. 

The accident resulting in the deaths of Ramilito Capangpangan Calipayan, Benjamin Rosillo Potot and Rimants Venckus was caused by a base unit electric fan heater fitted within a seating unit in the galley of the Vision ll. The air supply to the fan heater was either slowed or stopped by items within the storage area blocking the air vents in the back of the fan heater. This caused the fan heater to overheat. Inside the fan heater are two thermal protection devices. These thermal protection devices are expected to operate if there is an overheating event. If airflow through the air vents is reduced or blocked, the temperature within the fan heater rises. The thermal protection devices ought to respond to the blockage and the increase in temperature by shutting off the fan heater. They did not do so. The temperature of the heating element continued to rise and ignited combustible material within the fan heater which in turn ignited solid combustible items stored within the seating unit.

In terms of Section 6(1)(c) of the Act, the reasonable precautions by which the accident and the deaths might have been avoided are as follows:

(a) The fan heater, which had been installed when the Vision ll was built, should have been housed within a suitable plywood box.

(b) Combustible items should not have been stored in close proximity to the fan heater.

(c) The self-closing mechanism on the fire door separating the galley from the passageway should not have been disabled and that door should not have been kept permanently open through the use of a hook and eye device.

(d) Crew members should have been provided with adequate training and undertaken regular emergency drills in the action required of them in the event of an emergency.

(e) Regular inspection and maintenance of emergency exits should have been undertaken.

(f) The fire detection system should have been wired in such a way as to prevent it being turned off.

(g) The fire detection system should have been connected to a secondary power source lest the main power failed or was turned off.

(h) Labels should have been attached to the circuit breakers relating to the fire detection system instructing the crew that the circuit breakers were not to be powered off.

(i) Additional fire alarms should have been fitted in the galley, the passageway and the cabin space. 

The full Determination is now available