Jersey fishing boat ran aground after look out fell asleep

Credit: Ports of Jersey

A Jersey fishing crew got a shock when they woke up to discover their boat had run aground - because the deckhand had fallen asleep.

According to a new independent report published by the Ports of Jersey, the L'Ecume II had been at sea for 42 hours when it washed up on Belcroute Bay on 14 May 2020.

The two-man crew were not able to rest after landing their catch in France. This was due to coronavirus rules banning boats from stopping for too long.

The deckhand said he watched "a few YouTube videos" and started nodding off 28 minutes before the boat was due to land in Jersey.

He was seated in a "comfortable chair" with the windows closed and heater "probably on".

An investigation revealed the vessel was not fitted with a 'bridge navigational watch alarm system', which may have prevented her getting into difficulty.

The boat was also missing an echo sounder, which would have alerted the skipper to the danger they were facing.

The skipper claimed there had been issues with recruitment due to permits for those outside the EU not being available locally which is why there were only two crew on board.

Nobody was injured during the accident and the boat received only minor damage.