Due to her length, Heather Anne was exempt from any stability requirements. Since build in 1971, modifications to the vessel had significantly increased her displacement, raised her centre of gravity and reduced her freeboard.
Heather Anne was carrying about 10.5 tonnes of fish and entrained sea water which was over twice the weight of catch envisaged by her designer.
The deckhand would have had a greater chance of survival had he been wearing a lifejacket when the vessel capsized.
A report into the death of a Cornish fisherman says his boat capsized because it was unstable and was carrying too much fish. Ian Thomas from Mevagissey died in December 2011 after the accident in Gerrans Bay.