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Solway Harvester owner criticised

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has sharply criticised the owner of the Solway Harvester, which sank off the coast of the Isle of Man in 2000.

Almost 13 years to the day after the tragedy which claimed the lives of all seven crewmen, the MAIB has issued a report about an incident aboard another boat owned by Richard Gidney.

Last year, a 25-year-old fisherman died after falling from the St Amant.

In its report, the MAIB criticised what it called Mr Gidney’s 'consistent disregard for the safe operation of the vessel and provision of adequate facilities for its crew'.

The Marine Coastguard Agency has confirmed an investigation is taking place, which could eventually lead to a criminal prosecution.

Steven Robertson of Dalbeattie in Kirkcudbrightshire fell overboard off the coast of Anglesey last January as he tried to urinate from the deck after the boat’s toilet was removed.

But the boat’s skipper didn’t know his surname, next of kin or where he lived and the MAIB report says Mr Robertson hadn’t been wearing a lifejacket.

Mr Robertson’s body was never found.

The MAIB says Mr Gidney’s company Nightvalley had delegated responsibility for the scallop trawler’s operation and health and safety of its crew to the skipper.

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