B2/2002M Fishing Vessel HELSU (FIN), Loss of Fisherman in the Bay of Bothnia on 29.10.2002
Fishing vessel HELSU, FIN-258-T sailed out to sea from Reposaari quay on October 29, 2002 fore noon. The fisherman onboard was alone and his intention was to fish with surface nets at the area outside Reposaari fishing harbour. On the next day the local Coast Guard vessel on routine patrol found some nets without marking flags just in the fairway leading to port of Mäntyluoto. The nets were hoisted and brought to Reposaari where they were identified to be HELSU’s nets. As there were no knowledge of HELSU and her fisherman’s car was parked on quay side SAR activities were started by MRCC Turku. After a widespread search HELSU was found in Swedish coast on October 31, 2002. There was no one onboard and search operation for the fisherman continued but was unsuccessful. The vessel was towed back to Reposaari. The investigation found out that the fisherman had fallen to sea during the net launching from the vessel’s stern. It is impossible to climb back to the vessel with her high sides without any means like ladders or other aids. During the investigation it has been concentrated on this problem as well as on the usability of the personal protection devices like life belts in fishing work.