A fishing company has been fined £50,000 after admitting health and safety failings which led to the death of a deckhand off the coast of Aberdeen.
Annang Nuertey, from Ghana, who was 47 at the time, was working on the Aquarius when he was struck by a wire, after a rope securing it snapped, and thrown overboard.
His body has never been found.
The company which owns and operates the fishing vessel, MB Aquarius Limited, which has its registered office on Commercial Road, Buckie, pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers.
It failed to prepare a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the task of marking the trawl wire, properly plan and supervise the task, and ensure there was a safe system of work in place for the job.
Fiscal depute Richard Brown told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the boat had left Aberdeen Harbour just before 1am on August 17, 2015 to return to fishing grounds.
A wire that had been paid out behind the vessel became snagged on the seabed and a rope intended to stop the wire snapped and released the wire which struck Mr Nuertey.
Mr Brown said: “The impact of this propelled him into the air, over the side of the vessel and into the sea.”
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Initially Mr Nuertey remained conscious and managed to stay afloat, but after rescue attempts were unsuccessful he became submerged and did not re-surface.
A total of 16 boats were involved in the search, but his body was not recovered.
Defence counsel Barney Ross said: “The directors of MB Aquarius Ltd have expressly instructed me to tender their unreserved apology to the family and loved ones of the late Mr Nuertey for the failures on the part of the company which resulted in his tragic death.”
He said the company accepted “full responsibility” for the failures and had taken steps to improve safety.
Mr Ross added the firm had debts of more than £500,000.
Sheriff Graeme Napier ordered the company to pay a fine of £50,000.