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  1. #11
    Davie Tait Guest

    Default Site member crossed the bar.

    I have learned today that one of our members , Stevie Humphreys , sadly passed away while skipper of the Flying Phantom tug that foundered in the River Clyde in December 2007.

    My thoughts go out to his family

    Davie Tait
    Admin

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Harlingen - Friesland - The Netherlands
    Posts
    45

    Unhappy

    That makes this sad accident even more tragic. My sincere condolences to his next of kin.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fraserburgh , Scotland
    Posts
    16,206

    Default

    'Ping-pong' preventing tug probe
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/7935718.stm
    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    An "inter-departmental ping-pong" is preventing a public inquiry into the sinking of the Flying Phantom tug on the Clyde, a union has warned.

    Unite wants ministers at Holyrood and Westminster to back an inquiry into the Marine Accident Investigation Branch report on the tragedy in December 2007.

    The report criticised port operator, Clydeport, over "poor" risk assessment.

    The Flying Phantom was raised almost a month after sinking

    The Flying Phantom capsized, with the loss of three lives, after a towing winch did not release fast enough.

    It sank opposite Clydebank College in West Dunbartonshire and was raised in a salvage operation in January 2008.

    The bodies of three crew - skipper Stephen Humphreys, 33, from Greenock, Eric Blackley, 57, from Gourock, and Robert Cameron, 65, from Houston - were recovered in the days after it sank.

    Another crewman, Brian Aitchison, 37, from Coldingham, was rescued from the water after he managed to escape from the tug's wheelhouse.

    The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report into the sinking criticised Clydeport's risk assessment and called on the port operator to review its safety procedures.

    Following its publication last year, the widows of the men who died called for a public inquiry into the tragedy.

    The widows of the victims of the Flying Phantom

    They also accused Clydeport of failing to improve safety a year after the accident.

    Now Unite has contacted UK Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy and Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill in a bid to establish who is responsible for calling a public inquiry.

    Unite's Scottish Secretary, John Quigley, said: "On behalf of the bereaved families of our members, Unite is becoming increasingly frustrated in this pursuit for justice.

    "The interests of our members' families have taken second place to a game of inter-departmental ping-pong.

    "At the same time, no action has been taken on the recommendations of the MAIB report, which leads us to believe that the River Clyde remains unsafe and only serves to highlight the need for a public inquiry.

    "Unite will not let this matter go and it is time for someone to take responsibility. Our members go to work to provide for themselves and their families, not to suffer injury or death. This is about people, not politics."
    Once again may I extend our condolences to the families of the men who were lost and hope that this inquiry can be held as soon as possible to find the cause of the incident

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fraserburgh , Scotland
    Posts
    16,206

    Default Tug widows damages bid to proceed

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/8479522.stm

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    Clydeport has lost a legal bid to delay a damages claim by three women who lost their husbands in the Flying Phantom tugboat tragedy.

    The port operator wanted a year-long delay amid uncertainty over possible criminal proceedings.

    But lawyers for the widows successfully argued the case should proceed as their families lost their main breadwinners.

    The tugboat capsized in fog in December 2007 during a towing operation after a winch failed to release fast enough.

    Frank Maguire, from Thompsons Solicitors, which represents the three widows, said: "We argued that the civil action is of critical importance as all three widows have lost the breadwinner of their family and their action should not be put into legal limbo because of uncertainty over possible criminal proceedings.

    Family anguish

    "The families still want a full public inquiry into the sinking of the Flying Phantom to get to the heart of the matter and establish what happened and why it happened.

    "Instead of trying to delay proceedings Clydeport should be trying to resolve matters for the families."

    Mr Maguire said delaying the legal proceedings any further "would have increased the families' anguish".
    The Flying Phantom after it was raised
    The Flying Phantom capsized in thick fog in December 2007

    The Flying Phantom sank opposite Clydebank College in West Dunbartonshire on 19 December 2007.

    The bodies of three crew - skipper Stephen Humphreys, 33, from Greenock, Eric Blackley, 57, from Gourock, and Robert Cameron, 65, from Houston in Renfrewshire, - were recovered in the days after it sank.

    Another crewman, Brian Aitchison, 37, from Coldingham, was rescued from the water after he managed to escape from the tug's wheelhouse.

    The women who lost their husbands in the tragedy launched their damages action last year saying they felt "bitterly angry" that safety recommendations had not been implemented by Clydeport in the wake of the tragedy.

    Following the launch of the action, Clydeport said it "completely refuted" many of the claims that had been made.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fraserburgh , Scotland
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    16,206

    Default

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-west-22250008

    Firms charged over River Clyde Flying Phantom tug deaths

    Two firms are to face criminal charges over the sinking of a tugboat in the River Clyde, which led to the deaths of three crewmen.

    The Flying Phantom capsized in thick fog on 19 December 2007, killing skipper Stephen Humphreys, 33; Eric Blackley, 57; and Robert Cameron, 65.

    An inquiry later criticised the boat's owner, Danish firm Svitzer, and port operator Clydeport over the deaths.

    Both firms will now face charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

    The Flying Phantom, which was based at Greenock, was trying to guide a cargo vessel to a dock when it sank at about 18:10 opposite Clydebank College in West Dunbartonshire.
    Salvage operation

    Crewman Brian Aitchison, from Coldingham, was rescued from the water after he managed to escape from the tug's wheelhouse.

    The bodies of skipper Mr Humphreys, from Greenock in Inverclyde, along with Mr Cameron, from Houston in Renfrewshire, and Mr Blackley, from Gourock, Inverclyde, were later recovered.

    The tug itself was raised in a salvage operation the following month.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote

    Crown counsel have instructed that two companies be indicted for trial in the high court. ”

    Crown Office

    A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) inquiry later found that the boat's towing winch had not released quickly enough, which meant it was capsized by the vessel it was pulling.

    The report also highlighted highlighted failings in procedure to ensure the tug operated safely in foggy weather.

    It found that the routine the tug crew followed before towing or entering fog was "ineffective", with the watertight engine room door left open and the crew not being used in the most effective manner once in the fog.

    There were also no defined procedures for the tug operators when assisting or towing in restricted visibility, it said.

    The report also highlighted the lack of an accepted international industry standard for tug tow line emergency release systems, and asked risk management organisation Lloyd's Register to develop a standard to ensure tow lines can be released effectively in an emergency.

    The MAIB report also criticised port operator Clydeport.

    It said control measures had proven ineffective.
    Damages claims

    Major shortcomings in the port's safety management system were also overlooked because there was no "designated person" in charge, the report found.

    The accident investigators made a number of recommendations, including that Clydeport appoint someone as "designated person" under the Port Marine Safety Code.

    The report said that UK ports appeared not to have learnt lessons from accidents at other ports.
    The Flying Phantom The tug sank opposite Clydebank College in West Dunbartonshire

    Following the tragedy, the widows of the three crewmen launched a damages claim against Clydeport.

    They also criticised what they described as an unacceptable delay in holding a fatal accident inquiry.

    The latest development came in a short statement from the Crown Office on Monday, which said: "Crown counsel have instructed that two companies be indicted for trial in the high court.

    "Clydeport Operations Limited and Svitzer Marine Limited are to face charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to events surrounding an incident on the River Clyde on 19 December 2007 involving the Greenock-based tug boat, The Flying Phantom.

    "The families of the three crew who lost their lives have been updated in relation to this development."

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