Fishing trawler Vellee sank in the Little Minch channel west of Scotland’s Isle of Skye on a calm and clear night last summer apparently without being holed, leading MAIB (UK Marine Investigation Branch) investigators to conclude in their recent accident report that the loss probably resulted from a catastrophic failure of internal sea water piping or fittings – most probably the outcome of advanced electrolytic corrosion.
Fishing Trawler Vellee: Photo courtesy of Skipper JimmyT
Evidence of Corrosion as Probable Cause
A few days before the trawler’s final voyage (from Fraserburgh north-about mainland Scotland to Kilkeel on the east coast of Ireland for better fishing in the Irish Sea) repairs to the main engine were needed, and engineers discovered that two of the eight cylinder liners of the main Kelvin TASC8 engine were badly corroded by electrolytic action; thickness reduced by as much as 85% in some places. An electrician called to investigate, thought that ... [More]