Svitzer fined £1.7m over sinking of the Flying Phantom that killed three crewmen in 2007

By Accidents

The tug boat operator Svitzer has to pay fine of £1.7 million over the case with the sinking of the Flying Phantom when 3 crewmen were killed in 2007. The thick fog in the time of the incident, while towing a cargo ship on the River Clyde near Glasgow was one of the reason for the tragic event.  

Svitzer Marine Limited has informed the High Court in Glasgow that the Flying Phantom had several problems such as health and safety breaches. The Danish company had not taken seriously a previous incident in 2000 involving the same tug. Svitzer now has to pay fine (£1.7 million). Clydeport Operations Limited(port operator) also is involved in the incident and will be prosecuted next month. 

The tug Flying Phantom ran aground in the dark part of the day and in thick fog, pulled over on its side by cargo boat Red Jasmine  3 of 4 of the crew died while the tug was sinking, only one member of the crew managed to reach a buoy and was rescued.

The previous incident that the Flying Phantom was involved on December 29, 2000 the tug suffered damage worth of £150,000 while towing a carrier.  

Svitzer is accused for not taking the procedures serious to avoid the risks. According to Lord Turnbull the financial punishment might seem inadequate because of the death of 3 crewmen. Money will not bring back the people. 

On the day of the incident the last contact with the crew was through the radio before 6pm when the people on board the Flying Phantom contacted Red Jasmine:

"We're stuck at present on the bank." The court was informed the pilot responded: "Let go the line then, please", to which the Phantom responded: "Will do."

Bad weather conditions did not allowed the recovery of the bodies of the 3 crewmen right after the incident, the operation was delayed until December 23. The tug was salvaged after 30 days.

The tug operator Svitzer was against the accusation of the court for not ensuring the safety of the crew. A statement issued by Svitzer Marine said the tug operator "acknowledges the fine".