Collision with tanker may have caused fishing boat to capsize, Norwegian investigators claim

 Image: Norwegian Coast Guard
Image: Norwegian Coast Guard
Image: Norwegian Coast Guard
Image: Norwegian Coast Guard

Police investigators in Norway are looking into the possibility that a collision with a passing commercial ship had caused a recreational fishing boat to capsize in the waters off Tromsø earlier this month.

The incident which occurred on April 18 involved a five-metre boat operated by local fishing tour provider Mefjord Brygge. The boat had been chartered by three tourists visiting from Poland for a short cruise on that date.

The boat capsized approximately 16 kilometres off the coast at 17:30 local time. The three tourists, who were the fishing boat's only occupants, were found sitting on the keel of the upturned vessel when the Norwegian Coast Guard patrol craft Sortland arrived after receiving a request for assistance.

The tourists were taken aboard Sortland while their fishing boat was brought to port. No injuries were reported, and the boat was found to have sustained only minimal structural damage.

During questioning by police, the tourists claimed that their boat had come in close proximity with a large ship immediately prior to the capsizing but could not provide details as to the distance between the two vessels.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the Maltese-flagged tanker Key Marmara, which was sailing from Florø to Kaliningrad, was the only large vessel in the area at the time the fishing boat capsized.

A police official said that no conclusions have yet been made as they still need to determine through further investigation whether the tanker crew should be held liable for the incident.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World